'The Last Jedi' Teaser: Where Is Finn?
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'The Last Jedi' Teaser: Where Is Finn?

Why is the new promo material missing its leading male?

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'The Last Jedi' Teaser: Where Is Finn?
Lucasfilms

As any fan of "Star Wars" is aware by now, the first teaser for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" premiered at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this past Friday, and fans are already studying and analyzing every detail of it. The teaser makes the film look noticeably different from "The Force Awakens," the trailer for which looks bright and whimsical in comparison to the high contrast of blacks and reds in the new teaser, and every bit of it has been paused and pulled apart. From Luke falling to his knees beside R2-D2 in what looks to be the same moment we see in Rey's force vision to the fleeting audio of Leia saying, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi," Obi-Wan saying, "Seduced by the dark side," and Yoda saying, "Surrounds us and binds us" as Rey describes all she sees to Luke, every bit of information that can be gleaned from this teaser seems to have been found and has sparked a hundred conversations. Does Luke mean to train Rey as a Gray Jedi so that she can bring true balance to the Force? What did Luke find while researching the Jedi? What happened to make him decide that the Jedi need to end, and what exactly did he mean by that?

However, the second film in every trilogy contains two stories: one of a lone traveler, and one of the two other members of the trio on their own journey. As Mark Hamill said at Celebration, a teaser is meant to tease the story to come so that people will want to see the trailer, and yet this teaser only teases Rey's section of the story. Her co-stars, Poe and especially Finn, were unfortunately spare in the teaser, and Kelly Marie Tran's new character Rose is completely absent, despite descriptions of "The Last Jedi" placing heavy emphasis on the importance of her and Finn's storyline. If a teaser is meant to tease the story, why was the only shot to tease this major story a single shot of Finn asleep in a bacta tank? When combined with the fact that Finn was completely absent from the poster and that Kathleen Kennedy didn't acknowledge John or Kelly's existence on the stage with her despite Finn being as "iconic as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo" according to "The Last Jedi" panel, it almost feels as if Finn is being intentionally scrubbed from promotional material for this film.

The only possible solace from this is that he was so heavily focused on in the original teaser for "The Force Awakens," since Rey only received one shot there, leading many to believe Finn would be the central character and suggesting this teaser may follow in the same pattern and reveal Finn to be central in the next film. However, this shot of Rey actually showed her in action and teased her character. Even if Finn and Rose's story is so essential that showing a piece of it would reveal too much, that can't mean there isn't an ambiguous action shot of him to replace the image of him literally unconscious and hardly teasing anything. The only possible reasoning for this would be that to show him would mean revealing a spoiler, like if he was visibly scarred or disabled from his fight with Kylo Ren. It's still hard to buy that this is the reason, but it is a way to somewhat ease the minds of Finn's fans.

Don't get me wrong, the teaser is still exciting to watch. Getting to finally hear Luke's voice is almost overwhelming and Rian Johnson's directing is already noteworthy before the film even comes out. The way the teaser completely downplays Finn's character, though, one that is essential to the franchise and that basically kickstarted the entire new trilogy in favor of drawn out and vague references to the Jedi and the First Order, feels almost purposeful, a concept that is leaving plenty of fans feeling uneasy. We can only hope he and his storyline are at least featured in the first trailer.

The full teaser for "The Last Jedi" can be found here.

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