It's been almost a whole week since the Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi trailer dropped, and we're all still reeling. Although it was just a teaser, and therefore very light on legitimate plot clues, there was still plenty to unpack from the long-awaited footage — and not just the fact that Luke Skywalker seems to have got totally jaded and disillusioned in his self-imposed exile.
Hidden among cool Easter Eggs — like Obi Wan's voice, and the ancient Jedi symbol — were complex quick-fire shots of many different scenes, which without context are difficult to place. However, at least one of these shots looks similar to a scene we've seen before — meaning we're probably going to get a full flashback to Kylo Ren's massacre of Luke Skywalker's Jedi students in #TheLastJedi.
Luke Mourns In Burning Ruins
Remember that cryptic shot of Luke and R2D2 in The Force Awakens? This was featured in the second trailer, prompting a storm of speculation about Luke's role in Star Wars Episode VII. Of course, when the movie was released we discovered that this shot was taken from Rey's Force vision, triggered when she touched the Skywalker lightsaber.
This vision didn't offer us much in the way of context, as Rey was buffeted from moment to moment, crashing from the depths of Bespin to the sun-baked sands of Jakku — via a particularly atmospheric scene with the Knights of Ren. These snapshots were all bundled together, giving Rey clues about her future as much as her past.
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But we still didn't know where exactly Luke was in this sequence, though many fans theorized that the shot of Luke and R2 was set just after the Jedi student massacre. And now, it looks like this theory is correct. Check out this shot from the new The Last Jedi trailer:
This looks so similar to the shot of Luke putting his hand on R2 that it's highly likely the two shots are taken from the same scene — Luke is hooded and kneeling in both shots, R2 is on his right. Even the light and coloring is the same — we can see sparks from the fire in The Force Awakens shot, as well as the green of the grass in front of them and the rock on the right side of the frame.
What Does This Mean For The Last Jedi?
It seems certain now that we'll see this flashback scene expanded on, and I'm willing to bet that this is the massacre of the Jedi students at the hands of Kylo Ren. The building in front of Luke and R2 is likely to be the residence the new Jedi Order were using for their training (another Jedi temple perhaps?), and burning this building down while the students slept is an easy way to dispatch them — which makes sense, as Kylo Ren was only fifteen at the time.
But wait! I hear you cry. Wasn't Captain Phasma walking out of the burning building in the trailer?
Well, maybe. Right after the shot of Luke and the burning building in The Last Jedi trailer, there's another shot of Captain Phasma leading stormtroopers out of more burning wreckage. Putting the two shots so close together implies that this is a continuation of the same scene — which is a technique trailer editors often employ to hint at plot points or mislead viewers.
In the case of #StarWars8, the latter seems to apply. Take a closer look at the screenshot and you'll see that the floor is mirrored and shiny, reflecting the flames and burning objects. In contrast, the ground in the previous shot is clearly rocky, with a bit of grass in front of the building. Also, on the left side of Captain Phasma is what looks like a blue-silver pole, which means this is probably some sort of starship or space station entryway. In fact, this entryway looks very similar to this shot of Poe Dameron running into the X-Wing hanger on a Resistance base...
Which implies that Phasma and the First Order manage to invade this base at some point in the movie. Hey, maybe her entrance comes right after Poe's X-Wing explodes. Hopefully by the sheer power of his charisma and handsomeness, Poe will be flung from the craft yet again, into the safety of a pile of smoldering rubble, keeping him nice and safe for many future appearances in #StarWars movies.
So that shot of Luke and R2 may have been brief, but I'm pretty sure we just caught a glimpse of a fraught and tragic flashback sequence that will feature in The Last Jedi. This is likely to explain how Snoke manipulated Ben Solo to join the dark side — and how the son of Leia and Han went on to kill Luke Skywalker's students, which in turn caused the Jedi master to exile himself. It's all coming together.