May the force be with you.
On what would have been Carrie Fisher’s birthday, Star Wars released their final trailer to the highly anticipated conclusion to the epic “Skywalker Saga” that commenced in 1977. Following the somewhat tepid reaction to Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, as well as the disappointingly dull Solo, the pressure is definitely on for The Rise of Skywalker to provide a satisfying and cohesive culmination to the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith.
Underscored by John Williams’ brilliant music, the trailer offers the largest glimpse at the epic conclusion to the epic space opera that has spanned five decades. Attention is given to a host of new planets, including a water-based planet that appears to house the remains of the broken Death Star, along with jungle landscapes and a planet constructed entirely by ice. It is on this ice planet that the return of Emperor Palpatine is teased, appearing to be the site of one of the large conflicts of the film. Rey is also seen fighting Kylo Ren around the site of the Death Star, with water raging on either side of them.
Further alluding to Rey’s ongoing conflict between light and dark, she attests, “People keep telling me that they know me. No one does.”
“I do,” responds Kylo Ren, proving that the final film will not ignore the connection between the two central characters.
The emotional beats of the trailer come both from the sight of Carrie Fisher as Leia embracing Rey, as well as C3PO. In previous trailers, we have seen C3PO with red eyes, and here we see him state, “I’m taking one last look. At my friends.” It appears that this film might be seeing the final end for one of the longest running characters in the Star Wars franchise.
It does seem somewhat strange to be bidding farewell to the Skywalker era with none of the original Skywalkers remaining, but Luke’s presence is felt throughout the trailer through his assertions that, “The Force will be with you.”. In the background, Leia adds, “Always.” while the light of Rey’s lightsaber shines in her eyes.
While the original trio may be erased from the narrative, with Han Solo having bid farewell in The Force Awakens and Luke having perished in The Last Jedi and Leia set to have a reduced role here, due to Carrie Fisher’s unexpected and tragic demise. With Leia originally set to take centre stage in the final episode, it remains to be seen how this balance will be readdressed and indeed how her previously recorded sections will be incorporated into the final edit.
While giving us multiple shots and clues at what lies ahead, including space conflicts galore, the trailer still gives little away in terms of the plot, meaning that there is still plenty of secrets left to reveal when the film is released.
What did you think of the trailer? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet @GarbledGoodwin.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released on December 19th.