While it may feel right now like Avengers: Endgame is the most anticipated movie of 2019, the Marvel film is actually a warm up to Disney's main event this December, the final Star Wars episode film. Referred to as "Episode IX," this movie will close out the saga of the Skywalkers, first introduced to the world 42 years ago in 1977. The first Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Episode IX trailer promises the wait will have been worth it.
Episode IX, as the number implies, is the final chapter in the long-running saga, the third movie in the third trilogy of a multi-generational tale. Though they were made slightly out of order, with the middle trilogy done first, the prequel trilogy second and now the final trilogy 40 years onward, the idea that these movies all take place in the same universe, with the throughline over three generations of characters, stands as a testament to Lucas' original vision. And yet, at the same time, these new films have to feel of this time, and not of the 1970s or the 1990s.
The new trailer manages to achieve both these tasks, while still handing the audience something new.
Check it out:
The first big moment in the trailer is, of course, the images of Rey versus the machine, as she stands in the middle of the desert as Kylo Ren's ship head directly for her. Rey's powers with the Force have not only sharpened as she studies, but surpassed her former teacher. Luke may have lifted an X-wing out of the swamp, but he never took an imperial ship head on like that.
But there are plenty of other moments for fans to dissect and talk about. The image of the crashed-out Death Star, for instance, is a reminder of what goes up must come down. There are also familiar friendly faces, as Lando gets to pilot his beloved Falcon once more. Leia and Rey embrace once more, thanks to unused footage from The Force Awakens. And then there's that laugh.
Palpatine has been the bad guy of Star Wars for generations. He was the power behind Darth Vader, the senator who overthrew the Republic and turned it into an Empire in the first place. He was the man who turned Luke's father into the monster fans met in the 1970s by twisting his soul with hatred and jealousy. Episode VI ended when Darth Vader rose up against his mentor, who was attacking and killing Luke, picked the man up and threw him over a railing to his death. It was a moment of redemption for Anakin, destroying the evil that controlled him for so long.
The character's return in Episode IX suggests once again that evil isn't something that naturally occurs in the Skywalker legacy, just something they can be tempted into. Fans have wondered if Kylo Ren's rise was somehow being puppet mastered from beyond the grave, with theories Snoke was really Palpatine in disguise.
Could this be proof there is still good in Kylo? Will he too rise up and take down Palpatine, as his grandfather did before him?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.