Over the weekend, Disney and Lucasfilm unveiled one of those beautiful behind the scenes sizzle reels for Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the D23 Expo. It wasn’t quite as exciting as a brand new trailer would have been, but that doesn’t mean the video wasn’t full of a bunch of new details for fans to examine frame by frame.
Below, we take a look at dozens of shots from The Last Jedi sizzle reel to see what we can figure out about the second part of the new Star Wars trilogy. While there are plenty of things we don’t entirely understand just yet, there is plenty of new footage here that does help us figure out how some parts of the story will unfold. So check out our The Last Jedi sizzle reel breakdown, and see what we figured out.
Rather than break down the various shots of The Last Jedi sizzle reel by the order in which they appeared, we’re going to lump some of them together that appear to be connected or share the same setting, characters or details. You’ll see what we mean as we dig into all the new footage from the video.
One of the earliest shots in the sizzle reel features this overhead lighting system shooting down upon a rock structure of some sort. It’s clearly a set built inside one of the soundstages at Pinewood across the pond. And it’s one of the more mysterious parts of the sizzle reel, because it seems there’s a sequence that takes place in some kind of underground lake.
There’s Rian Johnson in the middle of this body of water as the crew is preparing for some kind of sequence in the water. This has to be a location on Ahch-To, simply because there’s another shot where we see a familiar character diving into the water.
Interestingly enough, this sequence doesn’t take place in the same cave set that we saw in the photos above, but there is green screen all around. That’s likely because this is a strictly underwater set where they will be replacing the background digitally. The biggest question is what is Rey swimming towards? What could she possibly need to retrieve from the lake? Is there a chance she could be diving for a kyber crystal to create her own lightsaber? Your guess is as good as mine.
Another early shot in the sizzle reel features this explosion going off and shooting debris over Poe Dameron’s orange and black X-wing, as well as a pair of new A-wings, which we’re seeing for the first time in The Last Jedi. This looks to be an overhead glimpse of the shot we’ve seen in the teaser trailer when an explosion goes off inside whatever ship is holding the starfighters.
In the teaser trailer, there’s also a shot of Captain Phasma and some Stormtroopers marching through fire and debris, and though it’s juxtaposed with a shot of a Jedi temple burning, upon closer inspection, it was on the same docking bay where the above starfighters were situated. It seems Captain Phasma and her troopers have infiltrated a Resistance ship and are destroying whatever they can.
That includes this A-wing, which we see take some flames before another explosion goes off and shoots debris all around. Though this appears to be the same A-wing from the above shot, notice that there’s another X-wing back there. So this might be on another ship that ends up getting destroyed by the First Order, maybe during the same attack on the Resistance.
This shot may also be from that attack sequence. It’s C-3PO standing on the bridge of a ship, but it looks like the windows have been broken, perhaps shattered by an explosion. The droid can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble.
Don’t worry though, because the Resistance isn’t the only one taking heat from explosions. Here the bridge of what is presumably a Star Destroyer taking a blast. Is it a crucial enough blow to take down the entire ship? Usually when the bridge of these big guys gets taken down, we see the entire ship careen off somewhere, incapacitated, but we don’t know if the First Order’s vehicles are a little stronger.
Speaking of the First Order, here’s one of their leaders entering a chamber that we haven’t been in before. He’s clearly just gotten off that lift in the background, and he’ll be heading across that railed walking bridge. What is he walking towards? Well, the very next shot in the sizzle reel may have show us.
Here’s another location we haven’t been to before. Notice the rails on the side? They appear to be the same as the ones in the previous photo with Kylo Ren. There’s a bright red background above, and in the middle appears to be some kind of throne. Could this be where Supreme Leader Snoke is residing on one of the Star Destroyers? Will this be our first encounter with the First Order boss man in-person and not through hologram?
While we’re discussing Kylo Ren, let’s talk about this shot from the prop department. There are three different versions of Kylo Ren’s mask, and that one in the foreground has been beaten to hell. There’s a shot in the teaser trailer that shows a destroyed helmet among some shattered glass. The question is whether the helmet is smashed by an enemy of Kylo Ren’s or if the emotionally unstable villain throws one of his fits and breaks it himself. The helmet in the background looks to have some different damage, but it’s hard to tell since it’s blurry.
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