Did you sense a disturbance in the Force yesterday, as if millions of voices cried out in amazement before being suddenly silenced? Don’t worry, it’s no moon. The teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX (subtitled “The Rise of Skywalker”) dropped at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.
After a star-studded panel in which Star Wars superfan Stephen Colbert quizzed the main cast of the film, director J.J. Abrams, and President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, for hints and spoilers about Episode IX (he got nowhere, although John Boyega and Oscar Isaac both did their best to confirm that the Finn/Poe romance is a reality), they unleashed the trailer.
The two minute teaser spends a lot of time establishing atmosphere, but it drops in some great action shots, as well. Rey does an extremely cool back-flip jump over Kylo Ren’s customized TIE Fighter! Finn and Poe seem to be in some kind of pod race, except they’re on a barge with a mounted gun! Then they presented the big reveal at the end of the trailer in which our team of heroes comes across what appears to be the crashed remains of the Death Star. As the footage ends, we hear the echo of a familiar mocking laugh.
Just to hammer home the point of that last laugh, in the hall at Celebration, the lights came back up to reveal none other than Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine himself), standing on stage. As the crowd went wild, the Emperor intoned (in character, of course), “Roll it again.” Which means that unless Abrams is completely misdirecting all of us, it’s clear Palpatine will play a part in the final film of the Skywalker saga. Whether it’s the original Palpatine from Episode VI or some kind of clone, we don’t yet know.
I’m extremely hyped after seeing this trailer. It provided us with some beautiful shots, and it hinted that we’ll get to see some spectacular alien landscapes. In a moment that gave me nostalgia chills, Lando gets to fly the Falcon again! Perfect space couple, Finn and Poe, get some great scenes together, and Rey’s evolution into a Force-wielding badass nears completion. The brief scene with General Leia looks like it fits in well – given the circumstances. I can’t imagine how they’ll manage to integrate her into the story, but I’m confident everyone involved will do their best to make sure her scenes work.
Again, there’s that reveal at the end. The reappearance of Emperor Palpatine is both amazing (he was a fantastic villain) and slightly worrying. Will the filmmakers lean too heavily on a character from the Original Trilogy instead of trying to provide a satisfactory ending to the story of this new generation of heroes? Will they ditch the (excellent) reveal from The Last Jedi that Rey is from humble stock, and make her some kind of secret clone created by Palpatine (which would be a terrible decision)? Only time will tell, but I’m hopeful Episode IX will be a thrilling and satisfying ending to the Skywalker saga.
How many days is it until December 20th again..?
Chris has been writing comics for a large chunk of his life, but only started making them properly in 2011. He’s worked with chap-hop superstar Professor Elemental on a series of anthology comics as well as writing stories for a number of prestigious small press publications including Futurequake, Aces Weekly and the Psychedelic Journal and creating his own comic book series ‘Brigantia’ with artist Melissa Trender.