Yeah, Disney owns everything and that hegemony has already had a negative impact on the movie world. (Films have been cancelled, they’ve shuttered arms that handle smaller films, it’s now more difficult if not impossible for rep theaters to screen certain titles, etc.) But I remain 100% on the hook for all things Star Wars and this latest look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gives me chills.
This is the footage that debuted during the Rise ofSkywalker panel at D23. There’s a lot to unpack, and I’m sure there’s no shortage of outlets who will break this down frame by painstaking frame and dissect what each “means.”
From the first, it’s obvious that they want to tie this to the larger saga, which makes sense given this is supposed to wrap up the Skywalker drama of the previous eight movies. The new footage starts about halfway through and it’s full of tasty bits. That fleet of Star Destroyers, Rey fighting Kylo Ren, red-eyed C-3PO, and so much more.
The biggest ripple across the internet, however, was caused by the last shot of so-called “Dark” Rey. She’s wearing a lot of black, has a very Darth Maul-style light saber, and looks rather unhinged. And it’s going to fuel speculation that she turns to the dark side for the next few months. My theory is that this comes from some sort of vision or Force dream. Probably something that haunts and torments the heroine throughout. But that’s just a guess.
There’s a lot to be curious about regarding this movie. As usual, Lucasfilm is playing things close to the vest and not revealing much—hence the rampant speculation. My chief concern is how they’re going to handle the return of Emperor Palpatine—his voice showed up in the first trailer and there’s a beautiful poster with him looming in the background.
It’ll be interesting to see what role, and how big he plays in Episode IX. Perhaps we’ll see how he influenced the rise of the First Order—in the Aftermath books we’ve seen that he had contingency plans in place that involved Wild Space and the Unknown Regions, plans which may also tie into the new Thrawn trilogy. It seems a lot to set up and not pay off, but I also worry about how it’s all handled. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
J.J. Abrams returns to the director’s chair for The Rise of Skywalker after sitting out The Last Jedi. It stars a bunch of familiar faces, as well as some key newcomers. The cast includes Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Matt Smith, Dominic Monaghan, and Richard E. Grant. So it’s like a murderer’s row of talent.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens everywhere December 20.