'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Trailer Breakdown: "No One's Ever Really Gone"

The first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has arrived and since this is a J.J. Abrams movie, it proposes far more questions than it answers. But that’s why we’re here – to go through the whole thing frame-by-frame and address everything that has you curious or concerned. Let’s dive in.

Rey is standing on a desert planet. It doesn’t appear to be Jakku or even Tatooine. From what I understand, this is a new planet that we haven’t seen before in Star Wars. She is out of breath. She’s clearly just run here or had some kind of encounter. She calms herself and finds balance with the Force.

Rey reaches down to the lightsaber on her belt. This is a shocking reveal – Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber. The last time we saw the saber, it was split in two as a result of the epic lightsaber battle in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. So it appears that at some point in the time jump between films, Rey has repaired the saber.

We hear the voiceover from Luke Skywalker telling Rey that “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now, but this is your fight.” I’m sure in the movie we’ll see Luke consulting Rey as a force ghost.

I love how much this shot plays like a western. Star Wars always took some major inspiration from the western genre and it seems J.J. Abrams is also working with that idea.

Here we see a close-up of Rey’s lightsaber. Her hand seems to be obscuring any possible welding of the seams.

We rack focus to reveal that a new version of a TIE Fighter is headed straight for the new Jedi.

Rey is confident and ready for this. This seems to be a more more assured young woman than we found on Jakku in The Force Awakens.

We see this sweeping shot of the desert planet and the new TIE Fighter flies by the screen.

Rey finally ignites the saber and it is the traditional blue. Sorry #ignitethegreen folks.

Rey gets in a stance as the TIE fighter approaches.

While we only see the hands of the pilot, I think it’s probably safe to assume that Kylo Ren is flying this TIE Fighter. We saw a photo of Kylo in the pilot seat during the Star Wars Celebration presentation.

Rey turns and starts a mad dash away from the new TIE Fighter. The wings look like Kylo’s Tie Silencer but the ship features a whole new cockpit with a lot of red, but a regular cockpit window. I don’t think the ship has an official name yet.

Rey does some kind of insane spinning backflip, and we can only assume she is about to slice into the ship with her blade.

A shot of a ship flying into a rocky mountain snow-covered planet drenched in fog under the cover of night. We don’t know where this is or who is flying the spacecraft.

The planet seems to have a civilization, though.

Here we see a battle in a forest drenched in fog and red smoke. It seems like Abrams is adopting some of the red aesthetic that Rian Johnson brought to the color palette.

Alongside the Stormtroopers is Kylo Ren, wielding his crossblade lightsaber in a ground battle with what appears to be an army of alien creatures. Where could this be? It’s unclear. Maybe this is Kylo’s search for the MacGuffin art the center of this adventure. Maybe these are the guards of whatever it is he is looking for.

We can see Kylo Ren’s mask being welded back together.

There is probably an analogy to be made about how J.J. Abrams is trying to put together the pieces of some of the things he created for Force Awakens that were destroyed in The Last Jedi. I’m not sure I like the look of the cracked helmet with the glowing red “glue” holding it together. Why can’t Kylo just build himself a new version of the helmet? I guess there is probably something further to be said about that in the context of the analogy that I proposed.

Here we get a simple character shot of Finn, with Poe on the desert rocks behind him. Does it appear that Finn is holding Rey’s old staff?

Here we have a shot of BB-8, and the new droid that is joining the Resistance crew in this film: Dio. We don’t know much about this little guy yet, but he sure is cute.

The cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, but that isn’t Rey in the pilot seat next to Chewbacca…it’s Billy Dee Williams, reprising his role as Lando Calrissian!

And here is a shot of Lando flying the Falcon. He seems to be having a blast, laughing as they hit lightspeed. It has been over four decades since he owned this ship and lost it to Han Solo in a card game. I wonder if this film will leave Lando with the ship now that Han is no longer with us. Lando’s beloved droid L3-37 was converted into the programming of this space ship, so it would be nice to see them reunite. Or does Chewbacca get ownership of the hunk of junk?

And an external shot of the Millenium Falcon jumping to light speed. But where are they going? How is Lando sucked into this new war? It also looks like the Falcon may have been re-equipped with the original dish.

They will be heavily selling this movie as the final installment of the Skywalker saga.

This shot seems to show us a First Order Treadspeeder that is chasing the skiff with Poe and Finn on it, on that same desert planet we saw earlier.

Then what looks to be two Stormtroopers zoom past us, possibly employing jetpacks. They fly out of the cloud of dirt and almost look like they are moving like the characters from the Harry Potter films when flying on their brooms.

Here we get a closer look at Finn and Poe on the skiff, and C-3PO is hanging on for his droid life.

We see what appears to be a modified A-wing crashing on what looks to be Venator Class Star Destroyer from the prequels.

Here is a very interesting shot. This is of the medals from the Yavin celebration and the hands seem to be an older woman, possibly General Leia? Or more likely a hand double that will be combined with footage of Leia shot for The Force Awakens. We are left to assume that this is Han’s medal, the one that Leia presented him at the end of the film. Maybe she’ll finally give it to Chewbacca, as he was left out, even though he totally deserved one.

Here we see a shot of Carrie Fisher reprising her role as General Leia using footage that Abrams shot for The Force Awakens. This is also why Rey’s haircut has returned to how we saw it in that film instead of evolving forward.

This reaction shot is likely something shot with a double just for this film. Why is Rey crying?  Luke Skywalker’s voiceover tells us “We’ll always be with you.” Assuming he is talking to Rey, who is the “we” he speaks of? I think we are to assume he’s still talking about the thousands of generations of the Jedi?

We then see a shot of our main heroes together on a foggy, grassy planet. We see Rey in the foreground, alongside Poe and Finn, with Chewbacca, BB-8, C-3PO and the new droid Dio in the background.

— Ryan Scott (@Rydog) April 12, 2019

George Lucas’ original Star Wars films were heavily influenced by the films of Akira Kurosawa. Is this a shot of Abrams referencing Seven Samurai?

We then push in from behind to reveal one of the most interesting and revealing shots of the whole trailer – our heroes are approaching a piece of the Death Star from Return of the Jedi. The space station was destroyed in the climactic battle of that film and the remnants have seemingly landed on this planet.

Could this actually be Endor? Remember, in Return of the Jedi, they were actually on the moon of Endor and not Endor itself. Some fans over the years have argued that the moon’s name is Endor. So whatever this planet is called, it’s probably the planet that the moon of Endor rotates around. Either that or the crash caused cataclysmic climate change on the moon of Endor. Also elsewhere on /Film, I attempt to explain how it could even be possible for a big chunk of the Death Star to survive.

Luke tells us that “No one’s ever really gone.” Then we hear the iconic laughter of Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine. Does this mean he is back? Has he returned? How would that be possible? Bryan Young explores this question here. Maybe it’s the remnants of the Empire and the Sith. Possibly a sith Force Ghost? If he does return in the flesh somehow, our own Chris Evangelista is not happy about that idea.

And then we finally get the reveal of the title – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. What does the title mean? Hoai-Tran Bui speculates on a handful of interpretations. I think it’s important to note that they didn’t put the “the” before Skywalker. The third installments of the Star Wars trilogies have always been “something of the something.” I think it’s key that the word “the” appears at the beginning of the subtitle and not before Skywalker. I like the title, but don’t love it. I’m wondering if it means that Skywalker’s legacy will rise or will Abrams play around with Rey’s parentage and make her a Skywalker?

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