One thing you can usually guarantee with a Star Wars poster is that it will be busy: a grand representation of the story’s epic scale that encompasses as much Star Wars iconography as possible. A classic example of this is the original cinema poster for the Star Wars Trilogy, The Return of the Jedi:
All of the elements of a typical Star Wars poster are here, characters in iconic poses, Darth Vader looming over everyone, and as many spaceships as possible without overdoing it.
What is so interesting about The Last Jedi poster, however, is that it does the exact opposite, instead going for a bright shock of colour and portraits. It’s more than that though, the whittling down of characters to just include Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Kylo Ren tells you what you need to know about what will be important to the film.
Also stark is the title, The Last Jedi, and the fact that all the characters featured have connections to being a Jedi: Luke is the oldest and most experienced, Rey is the rookie who wants Luke to train her in the ways of the Force, and Kylo Ren is Luke’s former pupil who turned to the dark side. The lore, and the importance of Jedis will be the driving force of Rian Johnson’s film, but that’s not all the poster tells us.
The colour scheme is key here, a domination of the colour red, obviously connected to the red lightsabers used by the Sith. Not only does it reaffirm Kylo Ren’s position as the villain, it also poses questions about Luke, who is the biggest presence on the poster. The last we saw Luke, before the end of The Force Awakens, he was the victorious hero of Return of the Jedi. His absence from most of The Force Awakens, and the nature of that absence will be explored in The Last Jedi, with some fans wondering if their old hero may turn to the dark side that consumed his father before him.
Lastly there is Rey who is posed in a way that will be familiar with even the most part-time Star Wars fan. Her pose mirrors that of Luke in the A New Hope poster, which suggests that Rey will fill the same role as Luke did in the original trilogy. Not only that, there is also the question of her relationship with Kylo Ren. All three characters are intrinsically linked after the events of The Force Awakens, with Rey undoubtedly the most important of all three.
This different approach to the teaser poster goes a long way to giving The Last Jedi its own distinct identity, suggesting that this will indeed be new territory for the saga after the good, if overly familiar re-introduction in The Force Awakens.