By now you’ve probably already seen the last trailer for the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – it debuted yesterday and while I was warned I had to wait until I left work to see it for myself. You see, I was warned that I might find it a little emotional… for a Star Wars fan that was there from the beginning… that was a bit of an understatement. In particular there were two moments from the two minute and twenty second trailer that brought tears to my eyes. I have shared my love of Star Wars for nearly a decade over on the Retroist and in particular on the fourth Halloween Special of his excellent podcast – I talked about a memorable Halloween dressed as Boba Fett. Movies have always been a huge part of my life and the Star Wars saga – the Skywalker saga has been a big part of it. By the way I think that is important to focus on for just a second – the Skywalker saga IS coming to an end but it’s not like they are going to stop making films set in the Star Wars universe – obviously. But it is pretty crazy to think that a series of films that mostly focuses on a single families’ bloodline and it’s effect on multiple galaxies has taken 42 years to reach, judging by the trailer at least, an epic finale. One that many of us have grown up enjoying… with some even being blessed enough to see their children and Grandchildren embrace the saga. That is something pretty special, my friends, something special indeed. Now I’m going to share the trailer below and then take some screencaps and discuss some of the moments in The Rise of Skywalker trailer that caught my attention – I have not gone online to seek answers to some questions that have been brought up. Instead I will share my personal thoughts and beliefs – with a few from my friends as we’ve been chatting pretty much non-stop since I caught the trailer this morning.
I’m not sure if any of this would be considered SPOILERS as it is all in the trailer or previous trailers. I think a good place to start would be the first shots of Rey – probably training in the ways of the Force, as it appears she is being followed by a training remote popping off shots for her to deflect with her lightsaber. What of her surroundings? Could it be possibly be Endor… perhaps… although I do not recall seeing waterfalls and some of the flora from that Planet before -it might even turn out to be Takodana from The Force Awakens. I do believe however that it is none other than Leia Organa that is training Rey in the ways of the Force – which would be a wonderful and fitting emotional payoff to the character that the late and great Carrie Fisher made so iconic.
In this next shot we have what looks to be a gathering of forces involved with the Resistance – one can’t help spot Billy Dee William’s return as Lando Calrissian – who appears to be talking with Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron. In the trailer there is a great amount of joy at seeing Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando flying together once again but the reason I’ve included this screencap is the Mon Calamari standing behind Lando. Because scuttlebutt has it this might be the Son of Admiral Ackbar – Aftab – a character that was mentioned in the just recently released Star Wars: Spark of the Resistance novel as well as the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Allegiance #2 issue of the Marvel Comics series. As Admiral Ackbar was my favorite character of the Star Wars films – his death – his sudden death in The Last Jedi hit me pretty hard – so I hope this Mon Calamari is in fact his Son.
Since 1977 the mythos, the canon of the Star Wars universe has expanded by way of novels, comic books, animated series, and games. While some of it has been excised with other elements embraced – thanks to the Clone Wars, Rebels, and Rebellion animated series we have been given stories that have explained certain mysteries and characters as well as giving us a whole slew of new characters to embrace and love as much as we did the likes of Luke, Leia, and Han. In particular I think the Rebels series knocked it out of the park which is why my eye was immediately drawn to the right side of the screen when the Millennium Falcon drops into frame – is that Hera Syndulla’s the Ghost from that animated series? All of this is just fan speculation of course but it’s hard to deny that does in fact look like that modified VCX-100 light freighter… now who might be piloting it comes into question as well.
Holy Cow! It most definitely looks like to me that Kylo Ren and Rey are dueling on the remains of the second Death Star – while I am jumping ahead further in the trailer – there is a moment where you can just register the fact that Rey and Kylo are standing in the Emperor’s throne room from Return of the Jedi. I think the big question on this one is where is said wreckage… Endor… or did the wreckage get carted off somewhere and dumped – because it looks like it’s in the middle of an ocean or something.
The moment of C-3PO in this particular The Rise of Skywalker trailer is the first moment where I started to tear up – his comment of “Taking one last look, Sir. At my friends.” hit me pretty hard. What is going on with our favorite protocol droid in this scene? Judging from a past trailer that gave us the startling image of C-3PO with glowing red eyes… is he going undercover so to speak with the First Order? Worse yet is he possibly being armed to detonate on this mission? Obviously we have no idea but his words have such a sense of finality to them that I don’t believe anyone who sees it can’t start to worry about his fate.
This one is simple, friends, Chewie, Poe and Finn (John Boyega) running through what might be the hallways of a Star Destroyer – firing and laying low the forces of the First Order… is just neat.
Granted that besides the next scene this moment is the one that caused my eyes to go wide – because it sure looks like the former Emperor Palpatine has found a way to cheat death. How? It doesn’t appear to me as if Palpatine is moving under his own power – he might be kept alive by not just his connection to the Dark Side of the Force but machinery. That would be an ironic fate considering the results of his manipulation of Anakin Skywalker in the past, wouldn’t you say? This also begs the question if Palpatine is the true power behind Supreme Leader Snoke and the First Order… or has he been playing an entirely different game since his supposed demise?
Last but certainly not least – this stunning image of Rey with her lightsaber extended – her face illuminated by it’s glow is quite worthy of being a poster itself. But when we hear both Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker as well as Leia Organa say “The Force will be with you. Always.” Boom! That is the way to end the last trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – the approaching ending to the Skywalker saga.
At that moment as the trailer faded to black I thought of the long journey my love of Star Wars has taken me on – of the loved ones who are no longer here who supported my devotion to the franchise with the toys of my youth – taking me to see the films over and over again. I absolutely lost it… I had to walk away for a moment and I’m very grateful I didn’t see the trailer in the theater for the first time if I’m being honest. Then – something even more emotional hit me when my Cousin Brandon texted me – he was in fact one of those that warned me about how emotional the trailer was. I’m going to end this article on The Rise of Skywalker with both the image and the text he left because it’s far better than anything I could say. Beyond that we have just a little over two months before we get to see the film for ourselves – not that long of a wait to find out the answers to these questions today and more… but it certainly feels like it, right? Just like when I was much, much younger and was waiting those last and long weeks until the next Star Wars film would be released.