‘Star Wars Episode IX’ Trailer Breakdown: No One’s Ever Really Gone

There’s nothing like a new Star Wars movie to divide pop culture fandom. Since J.J. Abrams relaunched the franchise with 2015’s The Force Awakens, the discourse surrounding the Galaxy Far, Far Away hasn’t always been positive. Of course, some fans are happy with the latest trilogy’s vision to propel the franchise into the future with new characters and wider representation. But the loud minority who throw hissy fits, harass cast and crew members, and sign petitions for movies to be removed from canon always dominate the headlines. It’s a headache, to say the least.

Still, there’s nothing like a new Star Wars flick to bring some excitement and intrigue to the cinematic climate. While the franchise has encountered its fair share of highs and lows throughout the years, new releases still feel like major events that promise epic space adventures and escapist entertainment. Sure, maybe you’re sick of these movies, but Star Wars is still a universal phenomenon that will outlive every single one of us.

With this in mind, some of you will be pleased to be seeing the teaser trailer for the Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which will close the latest chapter in the story of the new heroes and wrap up the generation-spanning battle between the Rebels and their tyrannical opposition. Let’s hit the play button and then we’ll break it all down. Bring tissues.

Now, that trailer is bound to get people talking. Going into the movie, we already have some big questions that need to be answered. Is Rey (Daisy Ridley) a Skywalker? Or perhaps the title means that Luke (Mark Hamill) will be resurrected and face Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) in a showdown for the ages? Will Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who is a Skywalker, find redemption? Either way, it seems like the Saga is about to close in a big way.

The trailer opens with Rey bracing for battle. The familiar voice of Hamill’s Luke accompanies proceedings, revealing that she’s inherited all the Jedi knowledge that she can possibly acquire. It’s time for her to step up and embrace her destiny as the savior of the galaxy. As her mentor states, this is her fight. A legend will be born.

Saving the universe from the tyrannical forces of darkness isn’t going to be easy. However, before Rey can rebuild and lead the Resistance following their decimation at the hands of the First Order, she must deal with more immediate issues. Going toe to toe with the enemy is difficult at the best of times. But when she’s on foot and the potential assailant is driving a TIE Silencer, some inventive thinking is required.

Of course, the big question is: who’s driving the ship? We assume it’s Kylo Ren, but he’s too obvious. Could this be the introduction of a new villain? The vehicle looks slightly different than Kylo Ren’s, so either he’s acquired a new ride or someone else has beef with Rey.

It’s not in Rey’s nature to back down from a fight, though. She was ready for this attack and had a plan all figured out the entire time. No one should ever attempt to backflip into a speeding vehicle wielding a weapon, but in a life or death situation, I suppose it’s fine.

Cut to a spaceship speeding through clouds toward a city in the mountains. Is that Rey’s parents ship? 😆

The spirit of Akira Kurosawa possesses every Star Wars movie in some way. In this one, it’s visible in this scene where Kylo Ren goes on the rampage, showcasing combat skills that any samurai warrior would be proud of. Clearly, he’s still dealing with some of his anger issues.

We then cut to Kylo Ren’s battle helmet, which was destroyed in The Last Jedi.

Here’s our first look at Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) on a desert planet. If you look closely, you’ll notice that Finn is holding Rey’s fighting stick.

Say hello to BB-8 and D-O, the two most adorable toy commercials you’re ever likely to see in a modern Star Wars flick.

Now we’re talking. There’s Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) having a blast on the Millennium Falcon with his old pal Chewbacca. Just look at Lando’s face: he is thrilled to be back on his ship. This is a feel-good moment that’s bound to please even the angriest fanboys.

Speaking of troublemaking alliances, we then cut to Finn, Poe, and C-3PO being chased by Stormtroopers on the Fury Road (or something akin to it). You get the impression that this duo’s arc will provide the film’s comic relief.

Next up is a shot of the medal Leia (Carrie Fisher) gave to Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the original 1977 film. Expect this sequel will be very nostalgic.

The trailer’s most emotional moment sees Rey hugging General Leia, with Luke’s narration saying, “We’ll always be with you”. While this makes sense in the context of the story, it’s a warm reminder that these characters will live on forever in the hearts of fans. We miss you, Carrie Fisher.

We finally see our heroes reunited, observing some bleak terrains. Yes, those are the remains of the Death Star. Luke reminds us that “No one is ever really gone.” The trailer then fades to black, and we hear Emperor Palpatine  (Ian McDiarmid) announce his return with a chilling laugh.

Kieran Fisher: @HairEverywhere_ Kieran is a Daily Curator for the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.