The new Star Wars trailer was released last week at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago as everyone expected. This is always an exciting time for Star Wars fans, but this time was a little different. With the last two films, Solo and The Last Jedi, not being completely accepted by the entire Star Wars fan base and this being the last film in the current story, there was more riding on this film and this announcement. In turn, the reveal of the title alone The Rise of Skywalker has sent shockwaves across the fanbase. We don’t have any answers yet, but we have a lot of new questions.
First off, just like everyone else, I want to know what Skywalker is rising where? This title is likely the biggest reveal from the new trailer. Its implications play into the status of Star Wars now and the division of the fan base over the direction of the current trilogy. We know that Luke just died and the only living Skywalker we’re aware of is Leia. This would be the end of that speculation, but we also know that Carrie Fisher passed away in 2016 and will not appear as a CGI character in this film. So who else is a Skywalker or what will Luke or Anakin do as Spirits that we’ve never seen before?
The trailer hinges on Rey facing off against a tie fighter using only a lightsaber. First, this shows us that Rey is now very strong with the force and likely has been training. Who has been training her? Luke? Leia? The voice laughing at the end of the trailer? We haven’t seen many people move the way Rey does in this face off and we definitely haven’t seen her do anything like this. It brings up the sensitive topic of who are her parents or do we know someone powerful she is related to? It’s a cool visual moment and something to be excited about to see play out in the movie.
As I watched Kylo Ren battling alongside some First Order troopers, I wondered who he may be fighting against. There was not much left of the Resistance at the end of The Last Jedi. This plays into the fact that this film takes place sometime after the previous film. The opposing combatant did not look to be part of the Resistance either, so perhaps it’s just the First Order further expanding its hold across the galaxy. Perhaps it’s more force users like the boy at the end of the last movie rising up against Ren.
When I saw Kylo Ren’s helmet being reconstructed, I cringed a little. I know that it was part of the first two films in the trilogy, but they are over. Why is the helmet so important? We already know that Kylo is obsessed with Vader, so reconstructing the helmet doesn’t really seem necessary. He’s already transcended needing the helmet to be evil like Vader. It just feels a little redundant. Is the helmet’s return hinting that someone else will be wearing it and taking up a villainous role? Is it part of a disguise?
The next exciting reveal from the trailer is the new droid. I think its addition is a fun move and will likely create a new lovable character, but it seems a little forced right now. There is always a cuter and more fun side of Star Wars that appears in some form in every film. In The Force Awakens this was BB-8, in The Last Jedi this was the Porgs, but we just got to know BB-8 and he’s really kind of taking up the cute droid spotlight at this time. In other shots in the trailer, we can see there are now four droids in the main group of heroes, which would make up half of their entire number and more droid cuteness than we’re used to. I’m not sure how they will address this band of droids, but I believe that this new droid will end up being BB-8’s foil as C-3PO is to R2-D2. Is it too late for this with this being the last film? What is the real significance of this new droid?
Lando Calrissian is back where he belongs piloting the Millenium Falcon. I thought it was cool to show Lando’s return and with such an iconic shot alongside Chewie. It brings more warm feelings and nostalgia from The Original Trilogy to help close out the saga and say goodbye to these characters. It makes sense for the story to have the character make an appearance; hopefully, Billy Dee Williams is up to the task and the writers do the character justice. Han and Luke and Leia have all had at least one good moment in the trilogy, but they’ve also all been treated harshly. Lando’s appearance could help recover some of the bad feelings from the killing off of Luke and Han in the first two films that have been met with ire from some fans.
Going along with the nostalgia of Lando’s reappearance is that of the Medal of Yavin and the wreckage of what looks to be a Death Star. Which Death Star is it? Were there any survivors? The medal again addresses the sorely missed heroes lost in the last two films. These glimpses of old artifacts hint at the focus of the film being on things from The Original Trilogy. The trailer seems like this film wants to make up for The Last Jedi’s direction and its turning away from Star Wars tradition. This film really seems like it will be the conclusion of Star Wars as we know it more than the third film in the current trilogy. Star Wars needs a strong faithful film that helps restore the fanbase after a lot of discontent with Solo and The Last Jedi.
The final seconds of the film are the second biggest reveal of the trailer. Although he’s not shown on screen, we hear the recognizable laugh of Emperor Palpatine. This sends thoughts reeling as we wonder if it’s really that Emperor. How did he survive? Is he the “one” who learned to cheat death? I think it’s very controversial, but also very exciting to think an evil relic from so long ago may return in some form. I don’t want this film to rewrite Star Wars history or have negative effects on the canon, but I think the last Skywalker facing off against the Emperor once and for all sounds like an epic finale.
I think this trailer is a home run for Star Wars. I have a better feeling about this movie then I did after the trailers for the first two films. There seems to be Star Wars tradition ingrained in this movie. Rather than using this film to try and bring Star Wars in a new direction, it seems the film will be a final nod to the fans. Hopefully, we will see new and old Star Wars mix and come together for a final coherent and satisfying treat.