Image: Gif via Youtube
D23 was upon us this weekend, and with it, a new behind-the-scenes glimpse at the next chapter in the Star Wars saga. But although the movie didn’t offer us a full trailer, what we did get was still jam-packed with little hints and clues as to what’s to come for Luke, Leia, Rey, Finn, and Poe.
The opening salvo of the reel gives us a few intriguing shots of sets, locations, and characters. There’s a great big rocky set — which we’ll see later is actually home to a massive pool of water — the bridge of a Star Destroyer under construction, huts on Luke’s new home of Ahch-To, and rather spectacularly, Chewbacca getting his hair done.
Some very slick looking speeders blanketed by the sun. Judging by some of the things we see later on in this reel, these appear to be for the glitzy streets of Canto Bight, a casino world that both Finn (John Boyega) and new character Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) venture to at some point in the movie.
A poor camera man gets doused in red soil — meaning that this is presumably Crait, the mineral planet from the first trailer and seemingly the site of a really major battle at some point in the film, judging by some of the character’s we’ll later see filming stuff on this new planet.
Rey (Daisy Ridley) pops up from behind a camera, giving us a good look at the hairstyle so secret it somehow became a months-long Star Wars rumour.
Night on Ahch-To… you’d think Luke would maybe invite Chewie to stay in his home, but apparently not, as the Wookiee goes solo camping with the Falcon.
When he’s not stealing Poe’s clothes, Finn seems like at some point he’ll be donning a Resistance pilot flight suit. It’s not the orange of Poe and his fellow X-Wing pilots, so maybe Finn suits up to use one of those big gunships we saw in the first trailer’s space battle.
One of the most mysterious, intriguing shots of the whole reel is this one we see of General Leia (the late, ever-great Carrie Fisher). She’s not on a bridge of a Resistance ship as we’ve seen repeatedly already, but instead looking distraught on the grey, cracked surface of a planet. It doesn’t quite look like Crait, and it doesn’t look like what we’ve seen of Ahch-To either, so could it be a new world altogether?
Our first look at a pivotal scene that’s presumably from the earliest moments of the film, knowing that it picks up immediately after the end of The Force Awakens: Rey returns the Skywalker family lightsaber to its former owner, Luke (Mark Hamill).
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) goes business formal, keeping the helmet but ditching his pleated robes for a First Order officer’s tunic and a new, totally-trying-to-be-grandpa cloak. In fact, there’s been a rumour that it might literally be Vader’s cloak, so there’s a possibility that poor Ben has gone full cosplay. The location he’s on looks very Death Star, but it’s likely Supreme Leader Snoke’s grand Star Destroyer — referred to in reports as a Mega Destroyer — which we’ve heard is a pivotal location in the film.
Here’s a look at what Kylo’s staring at in the above shot — which definitely looks like a big-arse throne for Snoke to sit in, seemingly confirming this is the Mega Destroyer the First Order’s leader calls home.
A reverse look at that big explosion we see Poe (Oscar Isaac) and BB-8 run to in the first trailer — one that gives us our first really good look at the A-Wings, making their return to the franchise in both original red and Resistance White/Blue flavours.
Look at these adorable little space heroes! Sure, it’s an isolated behind-the-scenes shot, but could it imply that all four of our young heroes will be meeting up in the film at some point? We know at the very least a few will, thanks to some later shots in the reel.
Our first look at a nasty-looking new weapon for the Stormtroopers (or at least a special version of them, given the new black shoulder pads). Previous reports described this clawed battlestaff as also being electrified, because the big spikey claws didn’t quite look sinister enough as is.
This gorgeous animatronic creature looks a little more The Last Guardian than The Last Jedi. The environment seems to match set pictures from filming for Canto Bight, some of the first pictures ever seen from filming — and the gated, horse-esque creature could be from a stable we recently heard of in a set report that Finn and Rose duck into during an elaborate chase sequence that ends up with them riding this creature, allegedly called a Falthier.
Look, I don’t have anything to add here other than HOW COOL DOES THIS ICY WOLF LOOK!?
A very tiny Casino staff member on Canto Bight prepares his space-gambling table. The design is very reminiscent of Colonel Gascon from Clone Wars, who was from a diminutive race called the Zilkin.
Our best look yet at Laura Dern’s mysterious new character — Resistance Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. She might be sharing a warm greeting with General Organa here, but we’ve heard quite a few reports that she ends up playing a more antagonistic role despite being on the hero’s side.
The internet’s boyfriend Poe Dameron takes his seat in a cockpit — one that appears to be a cockpit of one of the Resistance Skimmers we saw gorgeously gliding across Crait’s salted surface in the first trailer.
This seemingly innocuous shot of Chewie might come during a jokey sequence from John Boyega mocking director Rian Johnson, but note the environment: he’s on the Resistance ship bridge set we’ve seen Poe, Leia, and Finn all on as well. Given it doesn’t appear that he instantly returns to the Resistance after dropping Rey on Ahch-To, could he have come back with a few more passengers in tow when he eventually does?
We saw the very close-up version of this in the trailer itself, but this wider shot gives us a better look at the fact that Rey is seemingly charging into battle on Ahch-To. There’s been a report floating around forever about a major duel on the planet featuring Rey, Luke, Kylo Ren, and the Knights of Ren themselves — could those be the opponents she’s running to meet here?
Here’s a really good look at the full extent of the scar Rey gave Kylo Ren during their Force Awakens duel. You’ll note, as we previously reported, Kylo’s scar has moved a couple inches to the side compared to where Rey actually slashed him — a continuity-bending choice by Rian Johnson because he thought the first scar placement looked goofy.
Luke stands tall on Ahch-To, but he’s had a change of clothes from his white robes. We got a brief glimpse of this look at Star Wars Celebration a few months ago, but this our best full look at it.
This shot was heavily obscured in the initial trailer, but if you didn’t notice, here’s confirmation that Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and a bunch of Stormtroopers are responsible for that massive explosion aboard the Resistance ship Poe is on. Note the unfortunate tattered ruins of Black Leader’s X-Wing in the foreground.
Speaking of Black Leader, here’s Poe sliding into a trench on what appears to be Crait — could this be earlier in the same sequence we saw at the very start of the reel?
Rose, with a different hairstyle, sits on the landing bay of the Millennium Falcon. You can just make out that she’s been crying, so something pretty bad’s probably happened… and we might have some speculation in a second on just what might have upset her.
But first, a very quick look at another mysterious new addition to the Star Wars galaxy, played by Benicio Del Toro. We know nothing about this character other than the fact that he was referred to on set as “DJ”. You can just about glimpse BB-8 in this shot too.
A Resistance Gunner takes her place in the nose turret of one of the bombers we saw in the space battle of the first trailer — but not just any gunner. Rian Johnson has confirmed that this is, in fact, Paige Tico (Veronica Ngo), Rose’s sister. Beloved family member in a precarious combat position? Well, maybe something happens to her and that‘s why Rose looked so upset.
Adam Driver gets some saber practice in, but look at the weapons of his foes — they’re not lightsabers, but long staves, indicating that this might not be a fight between him, Rey and Luke. Training with his fellow knights of Ren perhaps?
A very fancy, almost Batmobile-esque speeder is brought to a stop by the crew. Looks like this is more stuff from Canto Bight.
And now it’s Daisy Ridley’s turn for some training — against three opponents, making this at least seem like it’s practice for that rumoured skirmish between her and the Knights of Ren on Ahch-To.
Say hello to your new favourite reaction gif. This little cutie is apparently called a Porg, a creature native to Ahch-To that Chewbacca encounters, and will no doubt become some seriously sought after merchandise this Christmas.
Finn and Rose in a very First Order-looking prison… behind bars, or breaking someone out from behind them?
Another intriguing moment for the two, immediately after: Rose and Finn disguised as First Order officers. We’ve heard details that this is part of the duo infiltrating a Star Destroyer during the climax of the film, perhaps even Snoke’s Mega Destroyer. Also, bizarrely, we’ve heard this sequence will include a cameo from Tom Hardy, dressed up as a Stormtrooper who slaps Finn on the butt as congratulations for his promotion into the officer ranks. Yes, really!
Kylo Ren’s mask in various stages of destruction. We knew this was coming thanks to the first trailer, but look at that one in the middle — maybe it’s just a trick of the lights, but it appears that the metallic plating around it is gold rather than silver. Maybe Kylo destroys his mask in a fit of rage, and gets a fancier one built to replace it?
A poor Resistance A-Wing pilot gets cooked inside her cockpit. This is presumably part of Phasma’s assault on the hangar we saw earlier, given all the pilots seem to be desperately scrambling to their ships.
In fact, it’s not looking good for Resistance pilots all around — here’s one tumbling from their position into what looks like a rack of bombs (is this inside one of the bomber ships?). Uh-oh. They don’t have the same helmet on, but maybe this is Paige or one of her co-pilots, and that’s how she dies?
Here’s another look at Kylo’s scar — note that here he’s back in his robes from the first film.
A grand look at the Canto Bight casino, jam packed with fancy aliens.
This doesn’t tell us anything about the movie, but I thought I’d just shatter your heart in the middle of this breakdown anyway.
Here’s a Porg getting prepped for its spotlight to cheer you up. As we mentioned earlier, they’re natives to Ahch-To, so we’ll presumably see a few of them while Rey and Luke are training together.
John and Daisy do love dancing around on Star Wars sets, don’t they? Few things to note here: Rey is in her new costume, presumably one she dons to return to the fight after training with Luke, so it’s from later in the film. Plus the snowy location might actually be the white salt-sands of Crait, indicating a reunion between Rey, Finn, Rose, and Poe by the end of the movie.
OK, this just looks awesome. Rey, in her outfit from the end of The Force Awakens, now donning a very Jedi-esque hood, and her blade held high. Meanwhile, the reel editor sinks their knife into our hearts one last time, with Carrie Fisher telling us that Star Wars “is about family. And that’s what’s so powerful about it.”
Finally, take it away Ackbar — it’s a wrap, on both the reel and our breakdown! If there are any other details you spotted in the video, let us know in the comments!