Star Wars Episode IX is no more; now, the concluding chapter of the Skywalker Saga will forever be known as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Say what you will about the title (and I’m sure fans will be having this exact discussion for decades to come), but the ninth core Star Wars movie is bringing about the end of an era before launching into all new stories. Just how the Skywalker Saga comes to a close is anyone’s guess, but the new teaser trailer certainly offers up some hints as to just what might transpire.
To that end, we’re breaking down the teaser trailer to see what hints are hidden in plain sight and just what encounters our favorite characters, heroes and villains alike, will have to weather this time around. See what we discovered below, and be sure to let us know what you found in the comments!
Planets and landscapes in the Star Wars universe (pun intended) are basically characters in and of themselves; this teaser starts out with yet another desert setting, but just which one it is remains to be seen. Are we back on Tatooine, back on Jakku, or on yet another dusty, sandy, and arid planet? I’m going to guess Tatooine for this one if only because J.J. Abrams feels like he’s steering the Executor-class Star Dreadnought of a franchise back to its roots, possibly in more ways than one.
We see Rey standing in the middle of said desert, the dearly departed Luke/Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber holstered on her belt. Luke’s disembodied voice says, “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.”
While there’s a visual nod to Luke’s landspeeder from A New Hope seen here, shimmering in the desert heat, it’s the familiar sound of a TIE Fighter that tells us all is not as it seems. Rey ignites the blue-blade of the storied lightsaber (possibly one that she’ll inherit by bloodline …), and outmaneuvers the approaching craft. (Of interest, this TIE Fighter seems to have a new red cockpit, slightly different from the First Order craft, and maybe something the red-loving Emperor’s Royal Guard might favor? Who knows, maybe Poe is piloting it in some sort of intense desert training regiment for Rey. Update: Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer Ah, maybe it’s supposed to be ?)
Now this is all well and good for an action beat, but it sets up expectations that The Rise of Skywalker will indeed go back to the original trilogy’s roots and mythology. The Last Jedi may feel like a bit of an outlier once this trilogy is said and done, though I think we can stop short of calling Abrams’ new trilogy capper a retcon of Episode 8. The sands of time do shift some things, however, and as Abrams confirmed during the presentation, this movie picks up “some time” after the last one. Almost anything goes, including Rey’s impressive reconstruction of an historic lightsaber. (Update: She’s also wielding the late Han Solo’s signature heavy blaster, a power move indeed.)
Moving on, we get to see another craft fly high over a rocky, mountainous landscape with what looks like a rather sprawling city nestled among the peaks and valleys. If this is the same area as the one we see later in the film … could we be back on Endor?
Kylo Ren/Ben Solo looks to be up to his old tricks, namely brutally murdering common folk with his Stormtroopers in two while also welding back together his shattered (and rather silly, if you ask me) mask / homage to Grandpa Vader.
Meanwhile, Poe and Finn, now a fully fledged member of the Resistance, appear to be hanging out on said same desert planet as the one we saw Rey on, though that could be a misdirection as well. (It does, however, look like Finn may have taken up Rey’s staff as a weapon, perhaps even taking training lessons from her after she switched to the more elegant lightsaber.) The bros, along with C-3PO, are taking fire from some First Order troopers (riding speeder bikers like the Scout Troopers from Return of the Jedi, and some sporting jetpacks, maybe?) as they navigate a skiff through the desert sands dotted by moisture vaporators.
But Poe doesn’t go far without his droid bud BB-8, who apparently has a new and slightly cobbled-together looking pal, D-0. (Update: It’s worth mentioning that Poe’s fashionable scarf, seen above, is later tied around his left upper arm. Expect Poe to take a couple of shots in the battle sequence.)
Elsewhere, Lando Calrissian is back at the helm of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca, as ever, riding shotgun as they navigate through hyperdrive.
After a craft of some kind crashes and burns (possibly with a Star Destroyed in the background, though it’s hard to tell), someone looks fondly at a pristine Medal of Bravery, which was given to Luke Skywalker and Han Solo (and, off-screen, Chewbacca) by Leia after the Battle of Yavin. Rey and Leia share what will likely be a final embrace here.
Luke’s voice again says, “We’ll always be with you…” as Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, C-3PO, BB-8, and D-0 stand on a grassy hillside. In the distance, they stare at the remains of the Death Star (the second one, most likely), having crashed to what is likely Endor (either the moon or the planet itself, I’m not sure. As long as it hasn’t corrupted the magic lake…) Rey is holding … something here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear. (There is a man with a gun over there, but it’s just Poe, hangin’ out.) “No one’s ever really gone,” Luke concludes. That should come as a comfort considering just how many heroes have come and gone over the course of these nine movies, but just as the heroes can carry on, so too can the villains live longer than one might expect.
An intimidating laugh puts the stinger on this teaser trailer, that of the supposedly deceased Emperor Palpatine. Actor Ian McDiarmid took the stage after the trailer played at the Star Wars Celebration, so that puts the icing on this one: Palpatine is back in some way, shape, or form. That’s all for now, so feel free to speculate to your heart’s content!