Got your pinch of salt at the ready? Good – take it with this news story.
The Japanese poster for The Last Jedi comes with a brief bit of marketing spiel that details, in the vaguest and most hyperbolic terms possible, the plot of the movie.
The translation is a joy to behold, simply because of how over-the-top it is. What’s really interesting, though, is that the poster makes a big, bold statement about the nature of a plot twist that the film will reveal.
Here’s what the blurb has to say:
“The Most Shocking Truth In Star Wars History Will Soon Be Revealed!
A new generation’s tale of the struggles of light and dark, virtue and evil has begun with the death of Han Solo. In a Galaxy where First Order and the Resistance are fighting against each other in a war, the heroine, Rey, had the Force awaken within her.
What will happen to the galaxy when Rey and the only remaining Jedi knight, Luke Skywalker, meet? Kylo Ren has fallen to the Dark Side of the Force and killed his father, Han Solo. As a successor of his grandfather, Darth Vader, and a high ranking enforcer in the First Order, where will his ambition lead him to?
Furthermore, Kylo Ren’s mother, the leader of the Resistance, Leia, Poe, Finn, and BB-8, will embark on a new mission! The story has finally begun and it will lead to a mysterious climax! December 15. Be ready for the shocking truth surpassing the previous stories!”
A lot of this is clearly marketing buzz – especially because, at this point, it’s pretty much impossible for any plot twist in The Last Jedi to surpass the surprise reveal of Luke Skywalker’s true parentage.
Part of the reason why the classic (spoiler alert for a thirty seven year old movie) “I am your father” reveal was such a surprise was that nobody in 1980 was expecting it. Audiences were blown away because they had no reason to think that some big plot twist would appear in a franchise that had, until this point, shown no interest in dropping an enormous paradigm shift on its viewers.
Now, though, not only is a Star Wars plot twist par for the course (no matter how weak the reveals of the prequel trilogy were), but the entire new trilogy of films is built around the expectation of a big reveal.
Ever since before the release of The Force Awakens, viewers were asking questions about the identity of the mysterious Rey. When the movie was released, these questions only grew more complex, with the standard JJ Abrams Mystery Box formula providing a tantalizing half-promise that the film’s mysteries might be uncovered in subsequent installments in the series.
We’re all going into The Last Jedi expecting a big reveal, not least because it’s plastered all over the Japanese marketing campaign. As such, no matter what we learn in the film, it can’t possibly be “the most shocking truth in Star Wars history”.
Unless, of course, it’s a completely nonsensical reveal.
If it turns out that Rey’s parents are actually a giant space lizard and the reincarnation of Henry VIII, this might be the most shocking truth of the franchise.
It’d also be the point that we all stop watching Star Wars movies.
Only kidding. If Jar Jar didn’t kill the franchise, nothing will.