Last week, Disney and Lucasfilm provided fans their first look at the highly anticipated “Star Wars: Episode IX,” now officially titled “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Following the drop of this emotionally invigorating teaser, fans across the globe went wild with feverish speculation of how the saga will conclude. More than anything, we’re having a harder time catching our collective breath than Rey does in the below footage. Through the haze of excitement, you’ll find a complete analytical breakdown of the teaser in all its edifying glory.
00:00-00:19 – We enter the teaser hearing heavy, anxiety-ridden breathing from Rey. It is quickly revealed she is looking ahead into the distance on some backwater, desolate planet covered in sand and rock. This is more than likely Rey’s homeworld of Jakku where she is coming full-circle on her journey.
00:20-00:37 – Luke Skywalker’s voice cuts through the silence, reminding Rey that the fate of the galaxy is on her shoulders now that the Jedi teachings from generations past are in her current possession. Luke’s assertion that this fight no longer represents him or the ancient order he once belonged to means Rey is the start of something new…maybe something stronger. Rey readies Luke’s lightsaber; Han Solo’s pistol is also attached to her holster. She has the weapons of her mentors, but they are only tools. Rey is now the restorative weapon of the future. Out of focus is an incoming ship, the outline of which resembles a TIE-intercepter. Kylo Ren in his customized starfighter is the most probable suspect of this impending aggressor.
00:38-1:07 – The fog of unknown assailant disperses — it is indeed Kylo Ren’s interceptor bearing down on Rey. With her lightsaber already active, Rey dashes ahead without ever looking back, preparing herself for her first defensive maneuver. Something to remember: Shmi Skywalker once gave Anakin advice to never look back. This can be taken in a literal or figurative sense since the Force permits vision everywhere. Within centimeters of collision, Rey flips back and launches herself above the incoming ship. What is most interesting is how Kylo never fires at Rey even though it would be the quickest way to exterminate her. Is he testing her in brash ways that most villains do, prolonging the duel for satisfaction? Or is Kylo’s hesitancy to kill once again taking over, giving her ample room to survive, or at the very least retaliate? Whether it’s a test or a twinge of mercy, Kylo certainly pays respect to Rey by holding off on the big guns.
1:08-1:14 – A ship looks like it’s attempting to land in a city high up in the mountains. Is this a new Resistance base that’s been erected, or is it a civilian population about to be invaded by the First Order? Maybe both? This planet resembles Eadu, featured in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” In that film, a kyber research facility was raided, which the Empire was using to chemically engineer the Death Star’s superlaser. If the Resistance returns here, they’re likely to learn about the superweapon’s origins and/or procure kaibur crystals in order to construct lightsabers en masse for future Force wielders.
1:15-1:18 – Kylo Ren leads an elite stormtrooper squadron in a forest battle, recalling similar terrain from “The Force Awakens.” Likely this is a brand new planet Kylo’s army is laying siege to. The final shot in this sequence shows Kylo’s helmet being reconstructed. Given how liberated he felt once his mask was destroyed, it seems odd to revert back to hiding underneath it. The only reason Kylo would do so is either to invoke added fear to his enemies or impress another Dark Lord of the Sith.
1:19-1:26 – A brief montage features Finn, Poe, Lando, Chewbacca, BB-8, and the legendary Millennium Falcon. The first two characters mentioned are stationed on some desert planet that seems less of a junkyard than Jakku. Are we finally back on Tatooine where this saga first began? Lando is seen piloting his prized ship, having reclaimed it, yet refusing to vacate the co-pilot chair on account of Chewbacca. It’s possible the planet was where Lando has been hiding this whole time, maybe even running a new metropolitan venture until he was called back into the fold.
1:27-1:32 – Poe, C-3PO, and Finn are on a skiff avoiding laserfire by an incoming group. Whether these foes are mercenaries, pirates, First Order grunts, or a new threat entirely, it’s difficult not to compare this chase to Jabba’s sail barge in “Return of the Jedi.” If this concluding installment returns to Tatooine, there must be some kind of significance, something hidden away that is vital in turning the tide against the First Order.
The final shot focuses on a mysterious golden trinket, which looks like a compass. Perhaps there’s an ancient artifact Obi-Wan Kenobi left behind on Tatooine that is instrumental to the rebirth of the Force soldiers of Light. Poe and Finn might be on a mission to recover this valuable piece of the past. Or an alternative theory is this object is a medal of valor exactly like the ones given to Luke, Han, and Chewbacca at the end of “A New Hope.” Perhaps Leia is imparting this honor onto Rey or another Resistance hero for their courage and triumphs against the First Order. “Star Wars” is cyclical in nature, so this could be another example of the pattern.
1:33-2:13 – The final montage before the ending of the teaser depicts Rey and Leia in an emotional embrace. Leia is likely sending Rey off on her final mission, the two women knowing a confrontation with Kylo is inevitable. Their tears signify the acknowledgment that Rey might have to kill Leia’s son in order to save the galaxy. Luke’s resounding adage, “No one is ever really gone,” might not have anything to do with a person moving into the afterlife. Instead, he might be suggesting the good part of someone’s soul always remains even when darkness has enshrouded it. If this is the case, Rey’s first goal might be to turn Kylo back to the Light like Luke successfully accomplished with his father.
The montage ends with Rey, Poe, Finn, Chewbacca, and BB-8 overlooking the ruins of the Death Star on a grassy hill. If it was just Rey, it could be assumed this is a dream sequence that the Dark Side of the Force is conjuring to test her abilities. However, since this is likely not the case, it begs to reason we’re looking at Endor or a neighboring planet where debris from the second Death Star fell. Emperor Palpatine’s maniacal laughter at the end suggests the Resistance heroes are walking into a trap that houses an ancient evil threat they know nothing about. Either Palpatine’s dark spirit has attached itself to these ruins, or the slippery ex-Supreme Chancellor had a contingency plan set in motion before his death. If Palpatine could create a hidden army of clones behind the scenes, what prevents him from also creating a clone in his image and with identical Force sensitivity?
What are your thoughts on the “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” trailer? Let us know some theories you’re dying to share in the comments below!