Fisher Star Wars tribute is ‘therapy’
NEW YORK, April 15, (Agencies): Is the Force still strong with Luke Skywalker? The first trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” dropped on Friday, showcasing a morose and withdrawn Skywalker. The two-minute teaser , unveiled by director Rian Johnson at the “Star Wars Celebration” fan event in Orlando, Florida, offered few clues to the film. But it notably includes Mark Hamill’s iconic hero gravely intoning, “It’s time for the Jedi to end,” from a dark cave. The trailer whetted the appetites of ravenous “Star Wars” fans who turned out in droves in Orlando and online, where the event was streamed live. Actor Josh Gad, a Disney star from another universe (“Frozen,” “Beauty and the Beast”), hosted a panel including Johnson, producer Kathleen Kennedy and cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and a new addition, Kelly Marie Tran.
“The Last Jedi” picks off where “The Force Awakens” left off, with Rey (Ridley) meeting Luke on a remote island, filmed off the coast of Ireland. Some shots in the trailer also suggested Skywalker training Rey on the island. In “The Force Awakens,” Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren has turned to the dark side after being tutored by Luke. The presentation was mostly a game of teasing hints about the film while revealing very little about it. “I actually can tell you some things. A small amount,” said Ridley, laughing. She said the film will go “deep” into Rey’s story and reveal how it can be difficult meeting your heroes — presumably alluding to a cranky Skywalker. “They may not be what you expect,” said Ridley to knowing groans in the crowd. “The Force Awakens” director and “Last Jedi” producer J.J. Abrams has previously hailed Hamill’s performance in the film, suggesting it could land him an Oscar nomination. Hamill, the most raucously received star on Friday, said he drew on his own experiences for this new chapter in Luke’s life. “I said: I have to relate to things that are real in my own life to understand where Luke is at this point in his life,” Hamill said.
“The Last Jedi” is due in theaters Dec 15. It will be Carrie Fisher’s last appearance in the core “Star Wars” films that follow the saga of the Skywalker family. Kennedy told ABC News Friday that Fisher, who died in December, will not appear in the planned ninth “Star Wars” film. “Sadly, Carrie will not be in (Episode) Nine,” Kennedy said. “We’ll see a lot of her in VIII, which is great.”
Disney debuted its highly-anticipated first trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” at a fan event in the United States Friday, sending the internet into a frenzy of excitement — and speculation. The footage from the eighth installment in the blockbuster space opera, due for release on Dec 15, was shown at the “Star Wars Celebration” gathering in Orlando marking the 40th anniversary of the original movie. The 132-second clip teases Luke Skywalker’s first meeting with Rey as he teaches her the ways of the Force, opening with the young apprentice on the island where fans saw her find Luke at the end of “The Force Awakens.” “Breathe, just breathe. Now, reach out. What do you see?” says a mysterious male voice as the camera focuses on a breathless Rey (Daisy Ridley) on her hands and knees beneath a cliff face. “Light. Darkness. And balance,” Rey replies.
“It’s so much bigger,” the voice says. “I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi — to end,” says the voice, which seems likely to be Luke (Mark Hamill). The first fully-formed trailer for “The Last Jedi” had almost half a million views and more than 13,000 comments on YouTube within 90 minutes of being posted, with #TheLastJedi quickly becoming the top trending hashtag worldwide on Twitter.
Hamill says he’s still grieving over Carrie Fisher’s death, but sharing memories of his late friend and co-star with fans at Star Wars Celebration is “part of the process that I need to move on.” Hamill led an hourlong tribute to Fisher on Friday evening at the event in Orlando, Florida. “I’m trying to use you as therapy to get through this together,” the actor said. He called Fisher “my beloved space twin” and said they were also great friends off-screen. They even shared a steamy makeout session once, he said. “As attracted as I was to her, I thought I couldn’t handle her as a girlfriend. She’s too much,” Hamill said. “Part of me did fall in love with her. I think every guy… She had you under her spell.”