Wow, Disney, you’ve done it again! Say what you want about the ‘Star Wars’ films they’ve made, one thing that no one can deny is that they always release some really exciting trailers for their films. Time for me to capitalize on the hype of someone else’s creation by contributing my very arbitrary and potentially very wrong thoughts to something I know very little about! This should be a great time for everybody, so sit tight and listen to the words that spew out of my brain and onto this computer screen!
I remember fondly back to April 14, 2017, when the first trailer for “The Last Jedi” dropped at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. My friends and I had just camped out overnight in the convention center to have a spot in line for the upcoming panel where the trailer would be released live, and director Rian Johnson surprised the almost 10,000 fans camping out with us by meeting with every single one of us and signing an autograph for everyone. He was with us all from midnight until 5am, when he had to leave to get ready for the panel we were all waiting for. Despite my eventual vocal criticism of “The Last Jedi”, I will never deny the fact that Rian cares about the fanbase and the franchise. Then a few hours later, he showed us the trailer he was sitting on and it blew my tiny, little mind. Luckily, I have that moment captured on an incredibly amateurish phone recording. I hope you enjoy this video and the various strange noises that I made because I lacked the proper social skills to express myself like a regular human being. I would like to thank my friend Marissa for calming me down after that because my head would likely have exploded if she didn’t. Not all heroes wear capes.
As amazing as the leadup for the trailer in 2017 was, last night was essentially my nightmare. Our overlords at Disney forced the public to endure Monday Night Football where the New England Patriots slaughtered the New York Jets. Isn’t it just so relatable when you own ABC and ESPN, you can advertise one of you multibillion dollar media properties on all your other multibillion dollar media properties without having to pay for anything extra! Boy, if I had a nickel for every time that happened to me… Anyway, I hate both teams and forcing me to watch Tom Brady do anything for any reason is the equivalent to what happens to Arthur Fleck when he lives in a society! But, after being subjected to almost an hour and a half of that cruel and usual punishment, halftime came and mercifully delivered salvation in the form of the trailer! And, wow, stuff is definitely happening!
So, there it is! I am not sure what is going on here and it would be totally irresponsible for me to speculate with as little information as we have been given, but that won’t stop me from commenting on what we do know!
Rey certainly looks like she is fighting Kylo Ren a lot in the trailer, and in a few different locations. One could assume that “The Rise of Skywalker” might be setting out to overcompensate for the notable lack of true lightsaber fights in “The Last Jedi”. Even in the few glimpses we’ve been given, it seems the choreography has taken a massive step forward, closer resembling the more highly skilled combat sequences of the prequels as opposed to the slower, less precise wild-swinging duels of the Original Trilogy. I have always been a fan of the more intense choreography because I felt it more closely resembled how skilled warriors with mystical guiding powers would fight than does unathletic adults inefficiently taking turns swinging sticks at each other.
This place looks brand new! I am pretty sure we have yet to see a planet that has both ice and flowing water on it, at least in the films. I always love different locations and when the geography is unique, it makes it even more interesting to explore *cough* STOP MAKING DIFFERENT DESERT WORLDS *cough*. We only get this one glimpse at the new world so it remains unclear how prominent of a role it will play in this film but I am all for greater world building opportunities! It looks like The First Order is really pissed off at that iceberg. They are clearly motivated by avenging the Titanic! (I know, what a timely reference).
Again, it isn’t fair to speculate about the plot while knowing so little about what is happening, but I think I can tell you exactly what is going on here. EVERYTHING. This is the finale and they are certainly leaving everything out there on the field. They are quite literally filling up the entire screen with as many warships as they can think of. No one will ever accuse this film of not trying to go as big as possible! If some is good, more must be better! It is also interesting to note that these ships do not appear to be in space, but rather in clouds somewhere. The sequel trilogy, particularly J.J. Abrams’s films have given in-atmosphere dogfights more of a focus and it appears “The Rise of Skywalker” will continue that trend.
One thing this trailer does is make sure to show the main cast together a few times. “The Last Jedi” had almost no interactions between most of the supposed main heroes, which made the story sort of mismatched and lacking cohesion. It appears that J.J. is making the finale to the trilogy more of a group project compared to the last entry. It is kind of weird that Poe and Rey have only met each other one time at the very end of the second film so far, but luckily they seem to becoming fast friends… because protagonism (?). Let’s hope J.J. shows us how they’ve grown closer, even if it is just implying that it happened offscreen, rather than just pretending like they were always buddies.
C-3PO, the series’ lovable cowardly Oscar Trophy has the emotional punch of the trailer. He says goodbye to all of his friends while it appears there are a bunch of wires coming out of the back of his head and plugged into something offscreen. Maybe this is the scene that turns his eyes red because he’s crying like the rest of us. And if you look really closely at the right side of the frame, underneath the yellow light, you can vaguely see the head of a CIS B1 Battle Droid which is pretty neat!
Here is the obligatory Leia moment in the trailer. Thankfully “The Last Jedi” will not be the last moments we see the late, great Carrie Fisher in the franchise. She deserved so much better than being in a near-universally hated scene where she Mary Poppins-flies through the vacuum of space after taking a missile to the face. Hopefully, “The Rise of Skywalker” is a more appropriate swan song for a character and person of their magnitude.
This moment in the trailer is probably the only real misstep. This appears to be Rey and Kylo working together to destroy something, possibly the Darth Vader mask that Kylo talked to in “The Force Awakens”. Regardless of what the inanimate item is that they are destroying with excessive force, the fact that we see them teaming up together even for a moment totally undercuts where they left off at the end of the last film. This feels like a moment that would be much more impactful if we did not see it in a trailer and instead it was shown to us for the first time, you know, in the actual movie where the story is supposed to be told. But those white floors are really shiny so I guess it’s ok!
This is my favorite moment from the trailer so I saved it for last to discuss. If this location looks familiar, that is because it is very clearly the Throne Room from the Death Star II in “Return of the Jedi” where Luke confronts Vader for the final time. Despite having its core nuclear reactor explode, then plummeting to the ground from thousands of miles above in space, the room is somehow in relatively good condition. Some of the windows even seem to still be in place. Caribbean islands look far worse after a hurricane! (Wow, that’s really dark. Sorry). I am not sure at what point in the movie this takes place, but it seems to be a continuation of the fight we see in the beginning of the trailer where Kylo walks out from a very dramatic torrent of water. And if this is the final fight, how poetic that it takes place in the rotting carcass of the finale of the Original Trilogy… Oh, wait, is J.J. doing that thing again where he copies the exact story of the corresponding entry in the Original Trilogy? Let’s hope not! Well luckily enough of the trailer seems different to what we see in “Return of the Jedi” that maybe this is just paying homage and not full on plagiarism like last time. Fingers crossed!
Well, there you have it! Things were most definitely happening and I am glad I got to share my non-speculative, shameless capitalization on a 2 minute video that is just a hype video for a movie that is still 2 months away! Let me know if you guys found anything interesting in the trailer you’d like to discuss and if you think “The Rise of Skywalker” will stick the landing or not!