I was wrong about a lot of stuff to do with the D23 Expo last weekend, however the one thing I got right was a behind the scenes piece for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
It’s probably the best piece of material that was presented during the conference that was also subsequently released to the public. Yeah, I’m talking the ridiculousness of me not being able to see the supposedly bonkers Infinity War trailer, but you didn’t click on this to read me rant about how much it sucks that I can’t afford to fly to Anaheim and stand in line for a day just to watch a trailer.
If you haven’t seen the piece yet you can find it right here.
So let’s get to talking about this great behind the scenes segment.
POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD.
The trailer begins with a couple quick shots of the film’s set at Pinewood Studios in London. We see some shots of members of the crew working on the set of the Millenium Falcon, some shots of makeup and air artists working on Chewbecca, R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8. Nothing really stands out in these first shots except for one of what appears to be ‘beehive’ looking sets.
So we know a little about these sets from leaked set photos. These ‘beehives’ are on the planet Ahch-To, which is the same planet where most of the first teaser trailer takes place and where Luke is at the end of The Force Awakens. It’s believed that a large portion of the film takes place on Ahch-To. I think that these ‘beehives’ are homes where the planets inhabitants used to live but have long been abandoned. I presume much like many others that Luke fulfilled his task of finding the first Jedi temple and that it reside’s somewhere on this planet. I believe that the previous inhabitants of this planet where among the first Jedi and they lived in these huts. That’s all on Ahch-To for now, more on the planet later on in the article.
This is my favorite moment of the entire piece. This shot is an absolutely gorgeous image that I’m sure will only look better when we see it from the primary camera. This shot takes place on one of the new planets featured in the film called Crait. The planet was first mentioned by director Rian Johnson during Star Wars Celebration back in April. We still don’t know much about the planet but we do know that the red material shot is a mineral that is mined at Crait, the mineral is what the planet is known for along with a layer of salt that covers the surface of the planet. We also know that the planet is home to a former base of the Rebel Alliance from the original trilogy of films. This shot matches up really well with a shot we saw in the teaser trailer of a couple new ships flying across the surface of the planet. Johnson has said that Crait plays a big role in the film and will feature a key battle between the resistance and the first order.
While this shot doesn’t disclose much information about the plot or characters of the film. It’s still an important shot. I would guess that the completed version of this shot takes place within the first two minutes of the movie with this being the direct follow-up to Rey presenting Luke with his lightsaber at the end of the Force Awakens. The other interesting element of this shot is the trackers of the fingers of Mark Hamill, this just confirms that they will be using CG to once again create Luke’s robotic hand. Rumors from the film’s set suggest that Luke first asks Rey “Who are you” and she responds by handing him the lightsaber. While it’s certainly not an answer to his question the fact that Rey is in possession of Luke’s original lightsaber is sure to establish a base line respect between the two.
With every Star Wars movie we are introduced to new planets and The Last Jedi will be no different. The aforementioned Crait will be one of the new planets in this film but so will Canto Bight which is the planet I believe is picture here. This comes from the filming the crew did in Dubrovnik, Croatia in March of 2016. Interesting fact the Croatian city has also been used in Game of Thrones for scenes taking place at King’s Landing. Not much is known about the exterior scenes that will take place on Canto Bight but as for the interior scenes, read on to find out.
Nobody is talking about this shot and it’s making me really upset, it goes by pretty quickly in the trailer but it’s a big information dump in one image. This is, in my opinion, Supreme Leader Snoke’s throne room. If you look really closely at the back it looks like a throne and it appears to be a figure standing or sitting on that throne that resembles a full body suited Andy Serkis. A number of elements of this scene make me believe it’s Snoke’s throne room. First, the strong red background. It seems as if all the marketing so far for this film are showing that Red plays a big role in the film, the colour has been featured prominently in every bit of marketing material since we first learned the title The Last Jedi. Second, it looks eerily similar to throne rooms that we’ve seen in the past in Star Wars films, in terms of how wide the room looks. Third, the shot immediately proceeding this shot was of a masked Kylo Ren stepping onto a walk way, this shot looks as if it’s a perspective shot for the former Solo.
The second of my selected images that takes place on the Jedi temple planet of Ahch-To. I believe this image just shows more of the training that it’s believed Rey will undergo in this film under the tutelage of her master Luke. What is interesting to me in this film is that it shows Rey continuing to use her staff which became prominent as Rey’s weapon of choice in The Force Awakens. Online speculation is rife with people believing that her staff is somehow going to be incorporated into her lightsaber when she finally builds her lightsaber either in this film or in the next. Many people will forget that Luke used his father’s old lightsaber in the first two films before building his own prior to the events of Return of the Jedi.
I have a pretty good ear to the ground when it comes to knowledge about Star Wars however this shot surprised me. It shows that they were shooting scenes utilizing water, and some shots underwater. I have yet to ear about an element of the film which occurs underwater. This could simply be a quick sequence of Rey falling into the water on Ahch-To. Which is what I believe it represents because the stunt double in the shot is wearing an outfit which is very similar to the one worn by Rey in the early part of the films. Still this is a shot that surprised me and I found it interesting.
This shot has created a lot of online speculation since it was released. Many people believe that it simply shows Rey training, which like I’ve said above looks to be a major part of the film. There is however a group of people who believe that this is an image of Rey running away from or towards someone. While I don’t want to say too much and this point in the article as there are two other images below that lend more credence to the belief that it’s Rey in battle. This could potentially be a shot from a rumored scene involving Rey, Luke, Kylo Ren, and the Knights of Ren.
Speaking of the main villain in the first film this is our best look at Adam Driver’s former solo, Kylo Ren. We prominently see a brand new scar stretching across Adam Driver’s face which he received at the hands of Rey in the third act battle between Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren in the Force Awakens. While we can’t see in this particular shot we have seen in other promotional material how Kylo’s eyes have begun to take on the yellow-orange-ish tint that flickered into Anakin’s eyes after he was dubbed as Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.
Benicio Del Toro! Del Toro is one of the new characters in the film who has been mentioned a lot in the film’s marketing and even appeared on stage at D23. Del Toro becomes just the third academy award winning actor in the history of the Star Wars franchise. Del Toro, Lupita Nyongo, and Alec Guinness all won Academy Awards for acting before joining the Star Wars family (Natalie Portman, also a member of the Star Wars family won an Oscar in 2010 but it was after all three of her Star Wars films had been released). Del Toro is playing what is described as a mysterious character who we first meet on Canto Bight. The name of his character has not yet been revealed by the team behind the film but director Rian Johnson has said that on set they referred to the character as DJ, a nickname interpreted by many to mean Dark Jedi.
And with the rumor that we first meet DJ on Canto Bight, we finally get to see the big set piece that we reportedly visit Canto Bight for – the Casino. The big opportunity in The Last Jedi for Lucasfilm to flex their muscles in regards to creature creation, makeup, and visual effects as we visit the Canto Bight casino. Rumored to be a big part of the second act of the film, some of our favorite characters are speculated to be visiting Canto Bight while looking for someone and that person is … DJ. It’s a part of the journey that Finn, Poe, and new character Rose will take during the events of the film. The city of Canto Bight is being described as a casino city and this is our best image of the ‘high class’ of the Star Wars world that we will run into when visiting the new planet.
This is the point where you are reading and asking yourself what the hell is this guy talking about, why has he chosen probably the least interesting creature in the entire featurette and singled it out, well because this creature is actually important to the plot. The creature above is known as a Porg, a creature who calls the aforementioned Ahch-To their home. The Porgs are rumored to fall into a similar role, if not a little more limited as the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. They are creatures native to the planet who are very important to the eco-system of the planet. They are said to have a strong connection to the force, much like the planet itself. I believe that the Porgs will feature provide a fun side story for both Chewbecca and R2-D2 who are also both on Ahch-To at the start of the film.
This is probably the only image that during my first viewing of this sizzle reel I actually paused it and had to analyze it, we’ve been led to believe that there are two stories in this film. The story involving Rey and Luke and the one involving Poe, Finn, and Rose. Now of course these two were going to intertwine in the movie, that’s how movies work. However, we didn’t know how or where – we still don’t know the answer to how but we might know the answer to where because of this shot. The background in this scene suggests that the final act of the film where Rey comes and back from her training takes place on the planet Crait. The two big hints in this shot is the fact that Rey actress Daisy Ridley is wearing a new costume in the scene suggesting that some time has passed since we last saw her. The passage of time is important because we know that this movie picks up right where The Force Awakens ended. The second hint comes in the greyish film on the ground and rocks around them. We know for previous shots of the planet Crait that it is covered in the same grey-ish film which the filmmakers are calling salt. Both these hints point to Rey and Finn being involved in battle between the Resistance and the First Order taking place on the mineral rich planet.
POTENTIAL MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
I wanted to give one more spoiler warning because this could be a big one for the film.
I’m going to make this brief cause I know my editor doesn’t want to read any spoilers. These photos show both Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver training and what’s most interesting is the fact that both Ridley and Driver are training against multiple opponents. Rumors from the film’s set seem to indicated a scene that takes place in the movie basically as a follow up to the controversial ending of The Force Awakens where Rey with hardly any training was able to handle Kylo Ren. It’s believed that the scene features Kylo along with members of the Knights of Ren travelling to Ahch-To and battling with Luke and Rey. The scene reportedly features Luke against five or six members of the Knights and Rey versus Kylo Ren part two. These pictures while they don’t specifically show anything reinforce the idea that something along these lines does take place in the film. Ridley is using a lightsaber like prop against three enemies, while Driver is using prop against two enemies (Luke and Rey.)
Those were the 14 biggest elements of the behind the scenes feature that stood out to me when I was watching.
What stood out to you? Let us know in the comments.