What with yesterday's title announcement and the reveal of the first poster, the official campaign for The Last Jedi has now kicked off in earnest.
Although it's yet to be confirmed, the rumour is that we'll see a new trailer in the coming weeks - probably even at Superbowl (February 5th), if we're lucky - and that should give us an indication of what's in store for The Last Jedi.
So, realistically, what do we know so far about The Last Jedi? In reality, sweet f**k all. Security around the set is tight and, even though we might have seen constructed sets and the like down in the south of Ireland, it doesn't give us much in the way of information on what's actually going to happen.
Therefore, we do what we love most - speculate wildly based on tiny scraps of information we've gleaned off the internet and infer wildly from the poster and title.
THAT RED WRITING'S GOT TO MEAN SOMETHING, RIGHT?
Yes, we think so too. In fact, we'd even go so far as to say it's definitely foreboding of something a lot more violent and dark than The Force Awakens. You might recall that in Revenge Of The Sith's promotional material, the title was revealed in blood-red writing. While that might have been a callback to Return Of The Jedi's titling - which was also blood-red - it also had to do with the fact that, well, Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi were pretty violent.
After all, you had Anakin Skywalker choking his wife, Palpatine straight-up slicing up Jedi like it was going out of fashion and you literally had children being killed by a brainwashed Anakin Skywalker. Return of the Jedi was just as bad, too. You had Luke Skywalker going berserk and chopping off Darth Vader's hand - whom he knew to be his father, at this stage - when he threatened Leia. You also had the cute little Ewoks being slaughtered by the Empire on Endor and you had Princess Leia using her golden bikini to strangle Jabba The Hutt.
So, yeah, it's a given that blood-red writing means it's going to be violent and that logic, we think, will extend to The Last Jedi.
THE LAST JEDI - DOES THAT MEAN LUKE OR REY IS THE LAST JEDI?
Well, that's the great thing about language - Jedi can mean one, singular Jedi, but it's also the plural of Jedi as well. In other words, it could mean Rey and Luke Skywalker are the last Jedi left in the galaxy. To us, that sounds like the most likely scenario. It's also possible that Leia fits into this as well, as it was shown in Return of the Jedi that she was Force-sensitive as well. Granted, it wasn't mentioned in The Force Awakens or touched upon, but it's definitely something to think about.
Another interesting point is the films that Rian Johnson have said were touchstones for him when making The Last Jedi. One of the films he cited was Three Outlaw Samurai, which was about a solitary, battle-scared samurai who had no fear of death and his own strict code of honour. Does that sound like anyone to you?
WASN'T THERE A BOOK OR SOMETHING CALLED THE LAST JEDI?
Yeah, there was - but it was set in the prequel era and it's now considered non-canon. That said, Lucasfilm's Story Group has shown that it's more than happy to pluck bits and pieces it likes from the non-canon, Expanded Universe and put them to use. For example, Woody Harrelson's character in the Han Solo spinoff will be Garrus Shrike - who was a character in the 1997 Expanded Universe novel, The Paradise Snare.
In relation to the novel The Last Jedi, there's pretty much nothing linking it to anything here. As we said, that novel was set in the prequel era and it only briefly mentioned Darth Vader, so yeah, nothing doing there.
DOES THAT MEAN THE FILM IS GOING TO BE ONLY FOCUSED ON LUKE AND REY, THEN?
No, not at all, but it is the jumping-off point. Look at The Force Awakens. It brought in Han Solo, Chewie, Princess Leia, the Resistance, the First Order, Kylo Ren - while it might be in the title and the central crux of the story, there's always stories surrounding it so it's the same here. Return of the Jedi didn't necessarily feature the rebirth of the Jedi Order, it was more about Luke Skywalker reaching maturity and burying his past.
WHY HASN'T THERE BEEN A TRAILER YET IF IT'S OUT THIS YEAR?
Because Lucasfilm are basically withholding until it's absolutely necessary to show you something. In fact, Adam Driver - who plays Kylo Ren - is on record as saying that he'd almost prefer it if nobody saw a trailer for The Last Jedi and, instead, let people go in blind to it. Come on, buddy - this is Star Wars. People are going to hoover up as much information on this as they can and providing no footage, imagery, or anything of that nature just means you get idiots like us wildly speculating and the like.
That said, you can expect a flurry of all the aforementioned at this year's Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California and, as we said earlier, expect to see a first teaser in the coming weeks.