Remember when A More Civilized Age was going to be a series of posts ranking lightsaber duels in the main Star Wars saga? LOL anyway The Rise of Skywalker.
I am SO excited for The Rise of Skywalker. It's now July, this thing drops in December, and before all hell breaks loose with a constant stream of footage and news, I want to ramble incoherently about what I'm looking forward to so far. So here is that. Behold.
Everything about the TRoS teaser trailer feels perfectly designed to appeal specifically to me. First of all, I didn't realise how much the return of The Force Awakens cinematographer Dan Mindel would mean to me but here we are. Every shot just looks gorgeous. The galaxy far, far away feels so lush and vibrant and I can't wait to go back there this December to just soak in the whole vibe. But aside from aesthetics, this trailer actually contained Stuff! New planets! New ships! New costumes! New droids! It was just the right injection of Stuff to get me excited while also holding back a lot, like the Knights of Ren and the new characters played by Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie, and Keri Russell. I love what Rey's wearing, with the pure white robes and the hood. I love that the Skywalker lightsaber has been rebuilt in a way that commemorates the moment it was torn in two during TLJ, adding to the weapon's story. I love all the locations and action and the fact that the main three are all together for most of it! I wish we got at least a single shot of Rose Tico but oh well, there's always Trailer 1. The teaser gives us a lot of stuff, and the stuff is all good. 10 out of 10 for the stuff.
Then, if that wasn't enough, we get the return of the Emperor. Now, here's the thing: the idea that the Emperor became an evil ghost haunting the wreckage of Death Star II is literally something I would fantasise about as a continuation to Star Wars as a kid before VII, VIII, and IX were announced. I think it's because when he gets thrown down the pit in Return of the Jedi it always looked and sounded to me like his evil Voldemort soul escaping or whatever. This is a Sequel Trilogy plot straight out of my childhood imagination. I've always loved quest stories and I've always been more into the mystical Dagobah side of Star Wars than the guns and running Cloud City side (although obviously I love both). So bringing those two elements together into a story where the trio from TFA go on a mystical quest to defeat the ghost of a powerful Sith Lord is just too good to be true. Plus, the whole thing is a vehicle for the return of Ian McDiarmid, who is always utterly delightful as Palpatine. I'm SO ready to see him again.
Then the third and final big thing this teaser gives me to drive the hype is the title: The Rise of Skywalker. The Rey's parentage mystery is back, and I love that. The Force Awakens made Star Wars so easy for me to get obsessed with because it presented a series of mysteries with enough well-planted clues to support multiple legitimate theories, all of which blossomed online. The fandom felt alive and creative and it sucked me right in. The Last Jedi dropped those mysteries, but the Rey's parentage one is back in full force, with everyone sharing their takes once again. This is the sort of thing that keeps me hooked and occupies my imagination in between instalments. Personally I think Rey is a Skywalker but whatever you're into, this title has you covered. Were you unsatisfied with how Luke acted in TLJ? Then for you 'The Rise of Skywalker' means Luke will redeem himself as a ghost. Do you want Ben Solo to return to the light? Then for you 'The Rise of Skywalker' means Anakin's grandson will get a big heroic moment at the end. Whatever you're into with this trilogy, the title promises it. Also, it just sounds cool. The Rise of Skywalker. Couldn't be happier with the title. The promise of all the new stuff, the return of Palpatine, the return of mysteries from The Force Awakens, this teaser trailer was perfect. It fully restored my enthusiasm in Star Wars and now I'm ready to enjoy Episode IX.
And oh my god, the theory material we already have from this teaser is incredible. Behold: the ship that dropped Rey off on Jakku flying around in the TRoS teaser.
That snow-covered planet the ship is flying over in the teaser is called Kijimi, which we know from the Vanity Fair story is where Zorri Bliss, Keri Russell's character, can be found. Keri Russell incidentally who looks a hell of a lot like Daisy Ridley. The fact that we're able to make these connections has sucked me right back in. Knowing that we're actually going to be a solution to the mystery of the ship from Rey's TFA vision adds an extra something to rewatches of that scene. I'm so happy JJ Abrams is back and he's free to pick up on these things he's set up.
Speaking of the Vanity Fair thing, that's the only other major drop of TRoS news so far. We got confirmation that the Knights of Ren are in this and I can't wait. They'll be really fun not just in this film but any time there needs to be a boss fight in any expanded universe story set around this time period. Richard E. Grant as a new First Order person, Allegiant General Pryde, looks like a great and very necessary character given that Kylo Ren and General Hux are our only currently named First Order characters after the deaths of Captain Phasma and Snoke in TLJ. Naomi Ackie as Jannah though. Oh my god.
THAT'S how you introduce a new character.
The only other bit of TRoS material we have, that we just got a few days ago as part of the lead up to SDCC, is the reveal of the Sith Troopers. My guess is they start off as elite First Order troopers but are taken over by Palpatine and they become his new Sith army.
So: the first full trailer. No idea when it'll drop, probably not until October as D23 in August will most likely be the traditional behind the scenes reel. What do I want to see? I'll take literally anything, the teaser was already so perfect. But for specific wishes, I want to see something from Rose Tico in the full trailer, just to get a sense of her role in this film. So far all we've seen of Rose is a photo at Celebration of her at a computer terminal in a Resistance base talking to Rey, and given that she doesn't seem to be on the quest with the others in the teaser footage, she might be stuck behind that terminal for the whole film like a new Connix. I suppose it makes sense to have at last one important character back at the base due to the limited footage of Leia.
I'm sure Trailer 1 will have some Knights of Ren action scenes and at least one shot of the Sith Troopers given how heavily those are being shown off right now. I'm not expecting any major bombshells thought. They might hint at Zorri Bliss being Rey's mother in an end-of-trailer post-logo bit where she takes off the helmet to reveal Keri Russell, or they could leave it for the film if there's any truth to that theory. What would the Big Twitter Moment of Trailer 1 be then? Maybe the first shot of Emperor Palpatine? Could be, depending on how much he's actually in the film. Or we could get a shot of Rey and Kylo's duel that we always know exists from Vanity Fair (and obviously the hero and villain of the trilogy are going to duel in the final instalment so, you know, might as well show it).
So yeah. Star Wars 9. It'll be fun.