The premiere of the latest The Last Jedi trailer asks more questions than it answers, but that’s not a surprise anymore when it comes to Star Wars trailers. The trailers for The Force Awakens that were released before the movie was out did a great job of selling the ton of the film while giving away next to nothing about the narrative.
[Warning: The following includes slight spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.]
It’s important to keep in mind these trailers are meant to mislead you in some ways, and imply scenes and meetings that may or may not actually take place within the same context within the film itself. All that being said ...
It pretty much looks like Kylo Ren is going to kill General Leia, doesn’t it? The cuts between Leia’s face and Ren’s ship — complete with shaking finger over a red button, no less — imply that Ren knows what he’s doing if he targets that ship.
There’s a whole bunch to unpack here. We know that General Leia is Ren’s mother, and Ren killed Han Solo, his father, in the previous film. We also know that Ren is deeply conflicted about the path he’s chosen, and the choices he’s made.
The dialog during Solo’s death led us to believe that was the act that would free Ren to pursue his path to the dark side, but that murder didn’t seem to steady his resolve if the editing in this moment of the trailer is to be believed. We know that General Leia is force sensitive herself, and is connect to Luke Skywalker. Killing her has a lot of tactical and symbolic importance for Ren and the First Order.
There’s also the sad reality of Carrie Fisher’s death in 2016, and fans have been told that she won’t be digitally placed into Episode IX. The film would have given General Leia a much bigger role in the story, as well.
“The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair. “She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”
Whatever happens to General Leia in The Last Jedi, it will be the character’s last appearance in the trilogy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on Dec. 15. Tickets are on sale now.