Today at the live-action panel at D23, Disney kicked things off with a bang by actually beginning with The Rise of Skywalker.
Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy, TROS director J.J. Abrams, and the stars of the film were welcomed to the stage, and there’s plenty that we’ll be diving into here over the coming days/weeks based on what was shared. But, of course, the highlight was the footage shown.
First, though, here’s the official teaser poster for The Rise of Skywalker, released today, showing Rey and Kylo Ren dueling with Palpatine looming in the background. It’s beautiful.
While the poster was publicly released, the sizzle reel shown has not – though, according to Entertainment Weekly, it will be released on Monday. I’m guessing that they’re probably going to drop it on Good Morning America. It’s a bit odd that they’re just waiting two days, as you’d figure they’d either release it right away or make it a D23 exclusive, but I’m glad that we’ll get to see it soon – because it sounds absolutely insane.
According to a number of reports from those in attendance, here’s a rundown of what was shown:
- The sizzle reel began with the binary sunset and goes through the Skywalker saga, giving us a trip down memory lane.
- Luke’s voiceover from the previous TROS teaser about a thousand generations, “but this is your fight.”
- The main heroes (Rey, Finn, Poe) are all on Pasaana at a festival of sorts.
- C-3PO has red eyes.
- A scene described as hundreds of Star Destroyers, stretching all across a vast expanse of space as far as one can see. The Resistance fleet, apparently consisting of various ship models, arrives out of hyperspace to face the sea of Destroyers. Finn and Jannah look out at them.
- Rey throws her blue lightsaber and it slices through trees but then flies back to her.
- Rey and Kylo fight on a crashed ship with water crashing all around them everywhere in a scene that sounds like it’s visually stunning. This is the scene pictured in the Vanity Fair photos previously released.
- Palpatine says something about the journey nearing it’s end.
- Darth Vader’s breathing.
- The sizzle reel then fades back in from black for one last shot: Rey, wearing black robes and a hood (Sith robes), wielding a double-bladed RED lightsaber (one that folds up into one two-sided blade).
And that’s it. The sizzle reel ends on that money shot, which is absolutely stunning.
So what’s going on? Well, there’s a lot there to break down, and hopefully on Monday we really will get this released online so we can see it and do a full breakdown. But I think this all sounds so amazing. Obviously the biggest takeaway – the one that everyone is talking about – is the shot of Rey wearing Sith robes and wielding her double-bladed red lightsaber!
This caught me completely off guard, but I’m guessing that it’s part of a vision sequence that occurs at some point during the film – almost like what Rey’s future could be. I don’t think she’ll actually turn to the dark side, and I’m even more confident in that thinking because J.J. Abrams publicly released it this early. So I’m thinking that this must be a bit of a misdirection, something that serves as a vision to either Rey or Kylo during the film. Regardless, though, seeing this is something many have wanted for a long time, so it’s actually happening!