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Entertainment Weekly


Breaking Down the Mysteries and Revelations in the New Dark Tower Trailer

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The Dark Tower trailer decoded

The new trailer for The Dark Tower ventures to places that only Stephen King readers fully understand. As the Aug. 4 movie approaches, here's a breakdown of what the new footage reveals — beginning with a prison that is only for those who possess "the shining."

Algul Siento

This quaint little community looks like the 'burbs, but it's situated atop a mesa in another dimension entirely. (The twin moons are a giveaway.) This is Algul Siento, a.k.a. Blue Heaven. Take note of the domed structure. As Stephen King readers know, the more peaceful and charming a place looks, the deadlier its secrets...

The Man in Black

Inside that dome is Devar-Toi, a kind of weapons lab that harnesses the energy of beings with psychic powers. (These abilities are called "the shine," which is a reference even casual King fans will recognize.) You can see some of these enslaved souls behind Matthew McConaughey's Man in Black in this image from the new trailer.

Attacking the Tower

When these human beings are harnessed as "Breakers," their power is launched from Devar-Toi and cut across the dimensions to crash into the Tower. Collapsing it will collapse all the dimensions, allowing beasts and creatures from hostile worlds to run amok in our own.

Jake Chambers

Jake Chambers (played in the film by Tom Taylor) lives in our place and time, present-day New York City, and his "shining" ability gived him visions of the Tower that stands at the nexus point of all worlds. If McConaughey's minions can seize the boy, he could finally help topple the tower and unleash a trans-dimensional apocalypse. (That would be bad, FYI.)

The Beams

Here we see a bird's-eye view of the Tower, suffering a hit from the Breakers at Devar-Toi. The blue lights emanating from the top are called The Beams, and they radiate through dimensions to hold all the worlds in place. Think of the Tower as the hub, The Beams as the spokes, and the rest of existence as a wheel. 

A Slow Mutant?

This creature hasn't been fully identified, but it looks like a Slow Mutant from King's books. There are also vampires, demons, and hypbrid creatures known as Taheen, who disguise themselves as people. These are a few of the monsters who would be unleashed on our world if the Tower fell.

Roland the Gunslinger

Idris Elba stars in The Dark Tower as Roland the Gunslinger, the last of a group of six-shooting knights who live in the realm of Mid-World and protect the Tower and its secrets. That world has already been decimated by the Man in Black, and everyone Roland knows and loves has been killed.

Protecting the Tower

Roland is still determined to protect the Tower (although he's also aiming for revenge against the Man in Black). In director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel's film, protecting the boy, Jake, gives the gunslinger a renewed purpose.

Roland's firearms

The new trailer gives a nice closeup of Roland's firearms, which in the mythology of the story are forged from the remains of Excalibur, the sword once wielded by King Arthur. He is able to reload and fire it with a kind of magical speed and accuracy. 

Roland vs. Sayre

Even without the guns, Roland has superhuman strength and is quasi-immortal. He can still be killed, but it takes a lot. Here, we see the gunslinger grappling with Sayre (played by Jackie Earl Haley), who is the Man in Black's representative in our world, presiding over The Dixie Pig, a portal for fiends entering New York City to feed.

Roland vs. Sayre

Roland and Sayre take a plunge into the sunlight and streets of New York, but this is no spoiler. They both survive the fall to continue the brawl in the streets. Sayre is Taheen — not human, but imbued with monstrous abilities and powers.

The Man in Black

It's not exactly clear where (or when) this scene takes place, but The Man in Black is walking casually among the corpses of his victims. He is on a quest, serving The Crimson King, an even more powerful entity who is trapped by the Tower. Collapsing it will not only unleash the apocalypse, it will free this mystical tyrant.

Battling the Gunslinger

The Man in Black has powers of his own. In the previous trailer, we saw him stop a storm of falling glass in mid-air, and here we see him conjuring fire in a battle with the Gunslinger.

Maerlyn's Rainbow

While Roland remains in pursuit of the Man in Black, the sorcerer is able to follow him back via Maerlyn's Rainbow, magical crystal orbs that allow him to see other worlds, other places. Eventually, these two will come face-to-face for real. If you haven't watched it yet, here's the new trailer for The Dark Tower. (No crystal orb required for viewing.)