When the First Order emerge from the shadows once again in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, they’ll do so with killer weaponry the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Yes, it’s true that the Death Star-esque Starkiller Base didn’t quite crush the Resistance like General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) hoped in The Force Awakens, so the First Order decided to trick out some of their less ambitious projects for round two.
The First Order’s latest mass weaponry is revealed in this week’s edition of The Star Wars Show, in which presenters Andi Gutierrez and Anthony Carboni show us prototypes direct from Lucasfilm.
First up is the All-Terrain Mega-Caliber Six, or AT-M6, which is like the classic AT-AT walkers of old — only much, much bigger and with a more “simian-like gait” than its predecessor, according to Carboni.
“Think of it as a mobile, heavy artillery walker that’s way bigger than a standard AT-AT,” Gutierrez says.
Sometimes land warfare is just too time-consuming, so the First Order have also built a 25,000-foot-long Dreadnought warship complete with two gigantic orbital cannons and 24 points of defence.
(First Order Dreadnought)
Pair these with Kylo Ren’s newly-created Darth Vader-inspired starfighter and it’s easy to see why director Rian Johnson has described the Resistance as being in tatters at the start of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
“I don’t want to tip the hat too much, but I will say that the heat is immediately turned up on the Resistance,” Johnson recently told Entertainment Weekly. “Everybody is put in a pressure cooker right away, and relationships crack and strain under that pressure.
“That was really interesting to me, the notion of putting this small army under a lot of external pressure and showing some of the results within the Resistance itself.”
In addition to the First Order’s revamped arsenal, The Last Jedi delves deeper into the remnants of The Empire by focusing much more on Supreme Leader Snoke — motion captured again by Andy Serkis.
Having just appeared as a giant hologram in The Force Awakens, this time we’ll actually see him in person when Kylo Ren arrives for the all-hands meeting that Snoke called at the end of the last film.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released in UK cinemas on December 14 and US cinemas on December 15. Watch a behind-the-scenes teaser below:
Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Digital Spy Facebook page and ‘Follow’ on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you’re all set.