Things explode all the time in Star Wars, but the new cutting-room image from Star Wars: The Last Jedi just posted on director Rian Johnson’s Instagram is a different kind of explosive.
With Force Friday (September 1st to the rest of you Earthlings) in our orbit, marketing for The Last Jedi will soon blast off with far-out merchandise and every new collectible you could possibly want to coexist with your light saber, melted Vader helmet, and BB-8 waffle maker.
Johnson has been sending signals into space for anyone whose antennae are up, as you can see from previous filming shots on his Insta, but this one is really activating speculation not just because it’s an explosion but because it’s sparked fans’ imaginations as to what exactly could be exploding. Some say it’s a planet. One rumor that has been slowly infiltrating the internet is that it could be a base—especially a rebel base—being blown to smithereens.
There’s a reason why fans may suspect these are the remains of a rebel base or ship and not an exoplanet that exploded. Take a macro-level look at the shot. You can see that there are many angles and jagged edges in the refuse. If this were a rocky planet anything like Naboo or, you know, Earth, you would expect to see mostly crumbled dirt and rock even if those were outside crumbles of dirt and rock. There’s a possibility that it is a planet and there are just so many trees where someone detonated a bomb or grenade, or shot a massive laser beam, that they’ve all gone to splinters. Even so, whatever it is that has now become space junk strikes me as man-made.
Not that this scene is necessarily even going to make it to theaters when The Last Jedi lands on December 15. It could end up as space junk itself. The thing that has made fans adamant about it being a glimpse into the movie is that an explosion this epic couldn’t possibly be just another misfired laser.
We’re just going to have to wait and keep making BB-8 waffles until we find out.