Did a collector’s checklist for the Topps Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi trading cards just tip the hand of film director Rian Johnson?
Although there's much speculation that the list, which undoubtedly lays the groundwork for some highlights from the forthcoming movie, is actually a chronological outline for the sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we have our doubts (the company has since confirmed the cards are, in fact, out of order). So we think sleep-deprived fans, still on a galactic adrenaline rush from their Force Friday II midnight shopping binges, might be jumping to conclusions here.
Topps has long been the premiere source for trading cards from the space opera saga, and all Star Wars merchandising these days is happening in conjunction with the production of the films themselves.
In the past, that's led to some slight alterations between toys and the characters actually depicted in the film, from the strangely monikered Sergeant Jyn Erso figures that were released for Rogue One, where the character was never given such a designation, to the head-scratcher Constable Zuvio, whose appearance as a 6-inch Hasbro Black Series figure sent many a fan scouring The Force Awakens for any sign of the character on screen.
But it's hard to believe that the creative caretakers of the franchise at Lucasfilm and Disney would sign off on anything that completely revealed the outline of a film more than three months before its debut (although those in the know have had plenty of fun trolling fans desperate for information on Rey's parentage — we're looking at you, Mark Hamill). And Johnson himself has already said there would be no spoilers in the treasure trove of new merchandise available today.
Still, we can glean some insights from the list of Topps trading cards that will showcase characters, vehicles, and screenshots from The Last Jedi, coupled with what little information we have about the forthcoming film so far.
We last saw our heroes in the cliffhanger in 2015's The Force Awakens, which left Rey finally face to face with Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To, prepared to handoff her lightsaber to its rightful owner.
So cards depicting Rey's solitude as she undergoes Force training on the solitary planet that held the first Jedi temple are no surprise.
Glimpses of General Leia Organa, Poe running through what appears to be a rebel base, and Finn ensconced in the new trilogy's less-soggy answer to the bacta tanks of old were also prominent moments in the trailer that debuted in April at Star Wars Celebration. The same can be said for a card labeled “Luke's Grim Perspective,” which we imagine has something to do with the forlorn Jedi master standing in a darkened doorway and speaking the perplexing line “It's time for the Jedi to end.”
A card depicting life “On Crait” points to a strange mineral world seen during a battle scene in the teaser, where the white ground gave way to red dust.
And “The Fury of Kylo Ren”? We've already seen him take his anger out on a nearby console when things didn't go his way, and it's unlikely the destruction of Starkiller Base lightened his mood.
We can't wait to see the cards that depict the new vehicles from the rebels and the First Order in battle action, although there again we've already gotten some sneak peeks.
Now, if predictions are true and the cards are in chronological order, the “Heroes United” card stands to spoil the end of the film by providing a short list of who makes it out alive. After Rogue One's thrilling conclusion, we've learned there are usually no guarantees on that front.
But again, we find it hard to believe that's the case and the card could be the long-awaited reunion of space twins Luke and Leia, who didn't get to share any screen time during the previous film.
Also, notably absent from the list of cards are specific references to resistance newcomer Rose, Supreme Leader Snoke, and the adorable space puffins the porgs.
Itching to hatch your own fan theories? You can see the full list of The Last Jedi cards below.
91 Rey’s Solitude
92 General Leia Organa
93 Rey and Her Lightsaber
94 On Crait
95 Rushing to Attack
96 Finn’s Recovery
97 Poe Responds
98 The Fury of Kylo Ren
99 Shards of the Past
100 Luke’s Grim Perspective
101 Ski Speeder Assault
102 Walkers Incoming
103 The Resistance
104 The Resistance X-wing
105 The Resistance A-wing
106 The Battle Commences
107 Frigates Under Fire
108 The Resistance Vs. The First Order
109 The Millennium Falcon Flees
110 Heroes United
(Via Comic Book Resources)