Disney and Lucasfilm have rolled out a two-minute clip relying primarily on the nostalgia fans have for the original trilogy, but also carefully selecting other bits from the franchise’s past (notably excluding anything from the spin-off films Solo and Rogue One) to get audiences ready for December’s last film in the third trilogy, Episode IX, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Callbacks include an image of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian laughing (footage the first trailer already showed being echoed again in the coming Episode IX), multiple shots of Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (to affirm there’s a Kenobi series on the way), Jeremy Bulloch’s Boba Fett (to remind us all that The Mandalorian series is coming next), even a reminder of that carbon freezing chamber that preserved Han Solo, that The Mandalorian series trailer also echoed this past week.
But the biggest idea now is foreshadowed with both the inclusion of Ray Park’s Darth Maul and his double saber, and the absence of images of similar bad guys from the prequel trilogy (like General Grievous or Christopher Lee’s Count Dooku). And that idea is that Rey–now with what appears to be the same configuration of lightsaber, is related to Darth Maul, boosted by the surprise insertion of the Sith villain into Solo: A Star Wars Story, which confirmed the Rebels animated series take that the character didn’t really die in The Phantom Menace. Or maybe those new red lenses on C-3PO mean he’s been carrying some Sith message for his master, Anakin Skywalker, later Darth Vader, that is only relevant now. Or maybe they’re all red herrings.
A new official poster for the movie reveals what many think is Emperor Palpatine, but what could easily be a cloaked Mark Hamill returning as the ghost of Luke Skywalker (Hamill referred to the poster Monday with the hashtag #lukethespook), and he looks happy as Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo duel atop what we understand to be part of a destroyed Death Star. How much of the voiceovers have been Luke, and how many have been the Emperor, and could they all somehow really be the same manipulator? It’s only a trailer, so there are no spoilers here, and it’s anyone’s guess what it all means. Take a look for yourself:
One fan (@ActionMovieKid) quickly responded with his own re-working of Rey and her new-fangled lightsword (as Luke re-named it in The Last Jedi), with a play on the Swiss Army knife (so quickly made it had fans wondering if Disney created it):
and it seemed to then get as much attention as the trailer itself.
Disney has provided us with some good clips to ponder over for another few months:
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives December 2019.