The makers of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi have unveiled a video on the inner workings of the film at D23, involving observation of its CGI, training, props, and even quotes from the actors. While some may have argued that an actual trailer would have proven a more exciting draw, that doesn’t seem to be the case here! The video seems to have revealed just as much as a trailer would, showing more clips of the narrative tone of the film, hinting at its unexpected but hopefully organic complexity. It also reveals Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (newcoming cast member, Kelly Marie Tran) in what looks like First Order uniforms!
— Star Wars (@starwars) July 15, 2017
Overall, this seems like an extremely promising look at the film, as it seems to be drawing on what is familiar about the universe (characters, beliefs, and the overall look) while also infusing it with new components. It’s also welcome to see clips of Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and the deeply-missed Carrie Fisher.
So far, the film seems to understand its universe, as well as how to construct it. One of the best strengths that the Star Wars films possess is their practical effects, ranging from Rey’s bread at the beginning of The Force Awakens, to many of the alien creatures which inhabit the galaxy, to the realistic background paintings which populated the original trilogy. This film seems to be continuing a post-prequels transition into a more practical portrayal of the story, though it also doesn’t seem to shy away from CGI when necessary. This synthesis of practical effects and CGI will hopefully help make the universe feel more grounded.
However, clips also show that the film is not afraid to slip past the conventions of its genre, as shown by the notably distinct new cinematography and the oft-mentioned unexpected direction of characters in the film (the most-discussed of which would be that of Mark Hamill’s character, Luke Skywalker). While this may be concerning, it’s also important to note that the director of the film, Rian Johnson, is a long-time fan of the franchise. Furthermore, after watching Star Wars films helmed by a select few for so long, it makes sense that fans would worry about homogeneity and a sudden shift in direction. That doesn’t mean that the film will be bad; rather, it means that fans must be open for it to expand on what we know and love in a direction that we may not have always imagined.
Interestingly, there seems to be very little so far on the upcoming untitled Han Solo film. In the past few weeks, the project has garnered much attention after losing both of its directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, due to “creative differences.”
Still, what we’ve been shown is exciting, and hopefully it’s just the beginning. While a full trailer will most likely be revealed soon before the film hits screens, fans will be comforted to know how close the movie is! The Last Jedi will appear in theaters on December 14, 2017.