Is the Force still strong with an elderly Luke Skywalker? The first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi was unveiled on Friday, showcasing a morose and withdrawn Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
The two-minute teaser for Episode VIII was introduced by director Rian Johnson at the Star Wars Celebration fan event in Orlando – but offered few clues as to specific details of the film's plot.
However, it notably does include Hamill’s iconic hero in a dark cave, gravely stating: “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
The trailer certainly whetted the appetites of the lucky Star Wars fans present at the event in Orlando, and millions more online, as the event was streamed live.
Actor Josh Gad, a star of other Disney universes (Frozen, Beauty and the Beast), also hosted a Last Jedi discussion panel featuring Johnson, producer Kathleen Kennedy and cast members Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, John Boyega, who is Finn, and a new addition to the cast, Kelly Marie Tran.
The Last Jedi picks off where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey finding Luke on a remote island, the scenes for which were filmed off the coast of Ireland. Some shots in the trailer suggested Skywalker agrees to train Rey on the island.
In The Force Awakens, villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) turned to the dark side after being tutored by Luke.
However, the trailer was more about teases and hints about the film, rather than revealing much about the story.
“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,” she added, to knowing groans in the crowd.
The Force Awakens director and Last Jedi producer J J Abrams has previously praised Hamill's performance in the film, suggesting it could land him an Oscar nomination.
It was also confirmed that The Last Jedi will feature Carrie Fisher's final appearance as Leia in the Star Wars saga. There had been rumours that some filmed scenes featuring the actress, who died in December, would be held over for Episode IX in 2019, but Kennedy told ABC News this is not the case.
“Sadly, Carrie will not be in [episode] nine,” Kennedy said. “We’ll see a lot of her in VIII, which is great.”
• Star Wars: The Last Jedi is due to be released in the United States on December 15. The UAE release date is yet to be announced
* Jake Coyle / Associated Press