It's time for another milestone, as 2019 ushers out the second decade of the 21st century, and the 2020s begin. The way this year has stretched out has sometimes made it seem like this isn't the final year of the 2010s, but as December inches closer, the reality will set in. And the end of the decade brings the end of one of entertainment's longest-running sci-fi/fantasy sagas of our time: Star Wars. The final Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer arrived at halftime during Monday Night Football, with an emotional smash.
The end of Star Wars was always going to be an emotional journey for fans. Whether you started watching back in the 1970s, first picked it up with the prequels in the early aughts, or found your way to the series in 2015, this is the end of the story. Even though there will be more Star Wars, both on Disney+ and the theaters, the Skywalker Saga comes to an end here.
The teaser advertising the trailer was already playing on fans' heartstrings, with an extended clip of the late Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia embracing Rey. The rest of the trailer was just as powerful.
Check out the final trailer:
The big twist for this last film is the return of the Emperor, Palpatine. The character was supposedly killed off at the end of the Original Trilogy, The Return of The Jedi. In that film, Darth Vader rises up and throws the Palpatine over the Throne Room balcony, to save the life of Luke Skywalker, his son. Vader is too injured to survive, but his last act is a redeeming one, choosing the Light, and his family, after kowtowing to the Dark Side all these years.
Fans have wondered, ever since the new trilogy began in 2015 if the Emperor was gone for good. Theories have abounded from Snoke being a puppet of a Force Ghost like Palpatine, to actually being Palpatine himself. Either way, it seems those theories may have been more right than anyone realized.
As has been the case with all three trailers for this final Star Wars Trilogy, the arrival of the clip coincides with tickets going on sale for the film. In past years, this has resulted in box office crashes, as well as records being broken. It also marks the kick-off to a two-month marketing bonanza. This same marketing scheme caused Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to do last-minute pole vault into the Number One spot for the yearly box office. Box office prognosticators fully expect Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to do very well this holiday season. But it would take a vault of spectacular magnitude to unseat Avengers: Endgame in the span of a 12-day release window.
That being said, this is the final installment of Star Wars. If any film can come even close to unseating Endgame, this is it.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. Tickets are on sale now.