It's Time to Dissect the Very First Trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

By Tom Pritchard on at

Today we learned the title of the next Star Wars film, and got to see the very first trailer. The Rise of Skywalker is set to arrive later this year, supposedly concluding the 9-film 'Skywalker Saga' which began in 1977. It's a big deal wrapping up that many films, and coming behind a film as divisive as The Last Jedi. But now we have footage we have to figure out what the film is going to be about, and to do that we're going to have to go through it frame-by-frame to see what's going on.

First here's the trailer:

And here's your gratuitous spoiler warning:

Like the trailer for episodes 7 and 8, the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker begins with someone breathing. First time it was Finn, then Rey during her Jedi training, and now Rey trying to catch her breath. Is there something we're not seeing here?

Despite having been broken in two during the last film, it seems enough time has passed for Rey to repair her lightsaber. Or construct a brand new one with a similar design.

She's waiting for something, obviously the thing she was running from, and you can just see it over in the distance.

As we'll discover shortly it's a TIE Fighter of some kind. While this is being said Luke, or presumably Luke's ghost, tells Rey that she has the cumulative knowledge of a thousand generations of Jedi. He tells her that this is her fight, which suggests that neither he nor the other Jedi ghosts can intervene. But more on that later.

That lightsaber design is basically identical, and the blade is still blue, so clearly she didn't rebuild the whole thing from scratch.

Getting closer...

This is our first hint at what kind of TIE Fighter this is. Those wings are reminiscent of the TIE Silencer used by Kylo Renn in The Last Jedi, as well as a sleeker version of the wings on the TIE interceptor.

It's certainly not a Silencer with that cockpit, though, suggesting this might be a new variation. Here's the Silencer as it appeared last time, for reference:

Of course the real question is who is piloting this thing, and why are they going after Rey on her own?

We never see the pilot's face, but the gloves and that clothing all but confirm it's Kylo Ren looking for some sort of payback.

A better shot of the TIE fighter showing that it does have the wings of a Silencer, but has the cockpit of a standard First Order TIE fighter. This is either a variant of the Silencer, or just happens to be the First Order's Interceptor design.

This is pretty much the last clear shot of Rey in this sequence, and it shows that there's a reason they call these things 'teaser' trailers.#

This is an unknown planet with an unknown ship. I thought it might be an A Wing, but the design isn't right. Needless to say this is a pretty gloomy place with a very shiny city. The Rise of Skywalker sees the main characters going on an adventure, and this is presumably one of the stops along the way.

And this is our first proper look at Kylo Ren fighting on another mysterious planet with his stormtroopers. Last we saw him he'd taken over the First Order, and it's clear that he won't be sitting in a thrown room, hiding away like Snoke.

It's not clear who he's fighting either. They almost look like Praetorian Guards, if the guards wore rags instead of armour, but that's probably wrong.

But remember when people said a lightsaber crossguard was a stupid idea? Mhmm.

And there he's repairing his helmet that was smashed in The Last Jedi. It had been rumoured the mask would be returning, but since it's being fixed it means you obviously can't go down to the nearest hat depo and pick up a new one. What's interesting is that the cracks appear to be glowing, even though they're not being worked on. That could suggest some sort of dark side upgrade, which Sith have been known to do in the past.

Here we have Poe and Finn together on a desert world, possibly the same desert world as Rey, but we can't to 100 per cent sure of that right now. But it looks like Finn has taken Rey's old staff as his own.

And this is BB-8 again, with the latest droid to join the series. It's called Dio, which I'm assuming will be spelt D-0 in official canon.

Chewie and the falcon are back, naturally, but who's that piloting?

That would be Lando Calrissian, who's been mysteriously absent since the new film series kicked off. Notice that he's also wearing the same yellow shirt worn by Donal Glover's young Lando in Solo. Clearly he's the man that never picks clothes that will go out of style.

Also the Falcon has a circular dish again, for some reason.

Yeah, right.

Back in the desert again, with a skiff of some kind coming under attack. Those pylons look quite reminiscent of moisture condensers used on Tatooine. But presumably they're an essential part of life on all desert planets.

And on that skiff are Poe, Finn, and C-3PO. Still no sign of Rey.

But they are being chased by stormtroopers. One on a bike, and another two with jetpacks.

In the past the only stormtroopery people we've seen with jetpacks were Mandalorians in Rebels, specifically the ones that allied themselves with the Empire. The helmet would be a dead giveaway as to whether this is still the case, but there aren't any clear frames in the trailer.

So we'll have to wait and see whether they're Mandalorians, or if the First Order finally managed to create jetpacks of their own.

And we have this ship crashing, which is definitely an A Wing. That means it's a resistance ship of some kind.

No clue what this is, though. Something to do with Leia is my wide speculative guess.

So I missed this was the medal given out at the end of A New Hope, which all but confirms this is Leia mourning. The only question is who is she mourning? Luke and Han both died within the space of a few days. Of course this was likely filmed before Carrie Fisher dies, suggesting it's Han's medal, but we don't know if that'll still be the case now.

And of course Leia is back, despite the untimely death of Carrie Fisher in 2016. But instead of using a double in a CGI mask, JJ Abrams used unused footage from The Force Awakens and wrote around it.

Same, Rey, same.

Here we have the whole team, or at least the whole team that was in all three sequel films. It's not clear what planet this is, and the next shot doesn't make it any clearer.

That's the Death Star. A Death Star anyway, andthere's no way of telling which one it is. The issue? This doesn't look like any of the planets we've seen the Death Star around. It's not a lot like Yavin, and it's certainly nothing like Endor.

Endor is the most likely candidate, though, since the Death Star was literally in orbit around the planet. But then again there are lots of planets in star systems, and it could be somewhere near Yavin. We don't know, and this is going to drive me crazy.

Here's a shot without people standing in the way. This is your new wallpaper, so you're welcome.

Luke's voiceover returns at this point, seemingly telling Rey that "we'll always be with you, no one's ever really gone." At face value that suggests that she'll always have the strength or support of the old Jedi. But the fact we then hear Emperor Palpatine laughing makes those words mean something far more sinister. And that is Palpatine, because the Star Wars celebration livestream immediately featured Ian McDiarmid on stage. He didn't say anything, but that means it's him in the film.

It's also another bit of evidence that suggests this is Death Star 2 somewhere in the Endor system. That's where Palpatine died, and if he has any role to play in this film that would be a nice narrative fit. What his presence means is unclear, though we should remember that Palpatine learned many secrets about life and death from Darth Plageius - even going to far as to use the force to conceive Anakin. And yes, that was confirmed in the comics.

I just hope to god that that stupid theory that Rey is secretly the Emperor reincarnated is not true.