To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo TV will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.
The Walking Dead Season 7 finale hinted that all out war — the actual name of a similar event in The Walking Dead comic books — was imminent.
And the Season 8 trailer released Friday at San Diego Comic-Con confirmed it: The new season will find Rick Grimes and company in a full-scale battle with big baddie Negan and the Saviors, with control of the “new world” at stake.
Both sides seem remarkably confident, as the trailer begins with Negan telling Father Gabriel that “you are about to sh*t your pants,” and Rick declaring later in a speech to his troops that they’ve already won, no matter what happens. But, as both sides have racked up major casualties (well, we assume Negan considers Fat Joey a big loss) already, victory would not seem to be a conclusion #TeamRick nor #TeanNegan could, or should, bank on.
Our first reactions and questions about the rest of the five-minute trailer:
* We appear to get a preview of who the major players will be in the war, with spotlight shots of Negan, Gabriel, Rick, Carol, Tara, Carl, Morgan, Maggie, King Ezekiel, Daryl, Michonne, Rosita, Gregory, Enid, Aaron, Dwight, and one of our newest apocalyptic favorites: Jerry!
* Around 1:30, we see Dwight unfold a piece of paper with the word “Tomorrow” written on it. Dwight left a message for the Alexandrians in the Season 7 finale, with Daryl finding one of Dwight’s hand-carved wooden figurines with the words “Didn’t Know” written on it. Can we assume, then, that Rick and Daryl have decided to trust Dwight’s assertions that he wants to join the Alexandrians, and that they are now communicating with each other via old school text messages? Or could that little note to Dwight come from elsewhere? From someone else inside the Sanctuary? Any theories?
* We love us a cocky Rick Grimes. “When I first met him, Jesus said my world was going to get a whole lot bigger,” he tells his cohorts in what sounds like a rally cry. “Well, we found that world. We found each other. That bigger world is ours by right. Those who use and take and kill… we end them!” Later, he insists, “We’ve already won!” after all he and his people have been through.
* Around the 2:20 mark, Daryl and Tara are seen wearing black shirts with white arm bands, but Carol is wearing a black shirt with a red arm band. What does that signify?
* Hey there, Jesus, at the 2:25 mark… whatcha making there with that storage container, gas can, and cardboard box? Who ya trying to blow up?
* Jerry: “Thank you, your majesty.” Ezekiel: “For what?” Jerry: “For being such a cool dude.” Backatcha, Jerry!
* 3:12: Some fine motorcycle badassery by Daryl Dixon and his gun, leaving a wicked fire in his rearview. Kinda reminds us of that RPG he used to create a fire-related ruckus on those Saviors in Season 6’s “No Way Out.”
* 3:18: Don’t know how, but a herd of walkers, like the one passing below Carol and Tara, almost always means the TWD team has come up with some cool new way to dispose of them. We’re not sure, but this certainly looks like a Greg Nicotero-directed sequence…
* “I’ve been fighting since the farm,” Maggie says (to someone that appears to be Rick). “Can’t stop now.” The continuing rise of Maggie as one of the show’s most important, capable leaders is obviously going to be a theme throughout Season 8.
* 3:21: Are Morgan and Jesus fighting against each other? Or is Morgan simply passing along some of his Eastman training?
* Excellent to see Negan’s associate, Simon, in the mix, as well as Judas, er, Jadis (played by, respectively, new series regulars Steven Ogg and Pollyanna McIntosh). And that “rat-faced prick” Jared (RIP, Benjamin), if only because it means the time for his comeuppance may finally be at hand. That’s how we imagine King Ezekiel would put it, anyway.
* Shiva looks grrrrrrrreat!
* 4:00: Negan is slamming Lucille down on a desk. A serious Negan is never a good thing for the ability of others to continue to breathe or keep their heads intact.
* 4:09: Is that a naked Daryl yet again locked inside a dark room?
* 4:15: Morgan to his fellow fighters: “I don’t die.” Oh, Morgan, do not let those be famous last words.
* 4:25: There promise to be action scenes aplenty, from fights to driving stunts, including one involving Rick in a jeep and Daryl back on his motorcycle.
* And, in the trailer’s biggest WTF?! moment, hope you kept watching past the series logo flashing on the screen, because around the 4:41 mark, we see a walking cane… followed by a pan to Rick — OLD MAN RICK! — lying in a bed. Ummmmmm… does this mean a quick flashforward scene? A whole flashforward episode? Or could we be in for a serious time jump during Season 8? Without going into detailed spoilers here about the comics, suffice it to say that the comic storyline does employ a significant time jump at the end of the “All Out War” drama.
Overall, despite the battle for survival and control ahead, the trailer suggests the vibe for Season 8 will be lighter — inasmuch as war can be lighter, of course — than Season 7, which began with Negan’s double murder of Glenn and Abraham and continued to unfold the fallout of those devastating losses all season.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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