Breaking down the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

On Monday night, the final trailer for the ninth and final installment of the Skywalker saga, The Rise of Skywalker, was released!

It’s a beautifully made trailer, and it manages to thrill and excite audiences with stunning visuals and music while maintaining a very hopeful note, giving us optimism that this saga will wrap up in a feel-good way.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out:

So let’s dive in to our breakdown of this trailer!


 

 

 

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The trailer begins in a peaceful jungle world, until a helmet suddenly drops into view and a figure (Rey) takes off running, as the music starts too. This planet looks to be the same jungle planet we’ve seen before, both in the first teaser and in the D23 reel, and it’s the same one that director J.J. Abrams said at Celebration is from the beginning of the film. I’m guessing that this planet is the current home of the Resistance when we find them at the beginning of the film, and this is where Rey is continuing her Jedi training (but with Luke… or with Leia?).

In the D23 reel, we saw Rey look frustrated as she threw her lightsaber and called it back to her, with a training droid dodging out of the way. Well, this scene looks to be from the same moment: she still has the red ribbon around her hand (we see that in a subsequent shot), she’s still on this jungle planet, and she’s still working with the training droid. It’s very subtle, but shortly after Rey drops the helmet (which I’m guessing might be used similarly to the one Luke trained with in A New Hope?), you can in the background see her deflect a bolt from the training droid as she runs.

 

 

 

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Rey runs through this forest planet and comes to a chasm. She keeps on sprinting, running on a log and leaping across. I think it’s safe to say she makes it. And I’m guessing that this is either part of her training, or her taking out her frustrations with her training.

 

 

 

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In a great bit of editing, before we see Rey reach the other side on this forest planet, we transition to Rey reaching the other side in a completely different environment, pulling herself up to stable ground. This looks very similar to where we first meet her in The Force Awakens, scavenging inside a crashed Star Destroyer on Jakku, and I’m sure that similarity was intentional. This time, though, I’m going to guess she’s inside the ruins of the second Death Star, which we see at other points in the trailer.

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While those previous shots were going on, we heard a voiceover: it’s Finn saying, “It’s an instinct. A feeling. The Force brought us together.” We get a look at Finn, who is looking through a big binocular-like instrument before lowering it. Obviously, this trailer is intending to get us to think that Finn is talking to Rey here, about how the Force brought them together. And that would be true. But since often times things in these trailers aren’t as they initially appear, I wonder if he could actually be talking about someone else – like Jannah? 

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Here’s a beautiful look at what this jungle planet looks like. You can see Rey running with her lightsaber ignited at the bottom of the image, but we get to see the vast trees (and a waterfall in the background) on this world. It looks like a remote planet (it actually kinda looks like Yavin 4…) and a perfect place for the Resistance to hide out.

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We hear a voiceover from Poe Dameron next, saying, “We’re not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them.” That’s such a perfect line, as he’s going to be taking on the leadership role of the Resistance in many ways in this film, and he’s absolutely right: there are good people across the galaxy who will fight against a tyrannical reign; they just need someone to lead them. In this gathering of Resistance members, we see many of these leaders. It’s hard to tell on some of them, so I’m sure that I’m missing many notable people in this image, but I’ve highlighted several notable figures that (I’m pretty sure) are in this image:

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Yellow circle: C-3PO

Green circle: I’m guessing that’s Aftab Ackbar (the son of Gial)

Red circle: Lando Calrissian

Brown circle: Chewbacca (he’s kinda blocked by a post, but he’s there!)

Light blue circle: Snap Wexley (J.J. is bringing him back in this film!)

Orange circle: Finn

Pink circle: Poe Dameron

Dark blue circle: Is that Maz Kanata? This is the only one I’m not confident on, but it looks like her to me.

Everyone is gathered around these heroes in the middle, but it looks like they’re gathered around Lando Calrissian more than anybody, which makes sense. I also don’t see Rose or Connix here, but I kinda wonder if they’re here and we just can’t tell. But one person who is noticeably not present: Leia Organa. In this massive gathering of Resistance fighters, you’d think their fearless General, leader, and friend would be at or near the center of attention… unless she’s not there any longer… this is totally just a guess based purely on her absence here, but I wonder if our beloved General becomes one with the Force at some point during this film?

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Anyway, speaking of Rose, here she is! It’s a brief but very welcome sight to see her in this trailer, and she’s looking at something with a bit of a concerned look on her face. It doesn’t look like they’re in enemy territory (it looks like they’re in a Resistance hangar), so is she looking at Finn? That’s just a guess.

Oh, and also, there’s Dominic Monaghan’s character in the background, looking at Rose and calling out something to her. Standing next to him is Billie Lourd’s Kaydel Ko Konnix, another Resistance leader.

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Finn, Poe, and Chewbacca are standing in front of Poe’s cool-looking orange X-Wing, when they turn and look at something. But what is it? We have zero idea. A guess would be Lando approaching, but I’m just saying that based really on no evidence. So we’ll see.

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A blockade runner! We knew that one would appear in the film, but this is the first time that any publicly released footage has shown it (it has been shown at some convention reels, however). It flies over the jungle planet that we’ve seen a lot of. I’m not sure whether this is actually the Tantive III seen in Revenge of the Sith or not (that would be cool), but it is indeed a blockade runner. Most likely, this ship is bringing even more recruits for General Organa’s Resistance, and it would be a nice touch for help to come from such a familiar-looking ship to Leia.

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Rey stands (seemingly) alone on the wreckage of the Death Star, as waves crash around her. Like I’ve said previously, this film looks absolutely gorgeous.

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There’s Rey, aboard this wreckage, staring intently. We hear a voiceover of Rey saying, “People keep telling me they know me. [But] no one does.” …

 

 

 

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… To which we then hear Kylo Ren respond, “But I do.”, as we see him walking through the mist to confront Rey, twirling his lightsaber. This is an epic shot of Kylo walking through the crashing waves to face Rey, and we know from a later shot that they duel aboard the wreckage.

This also feels like a very significant exchange, though, presuming that these lines are actually said to one another in the film. Rey feels alone, but Kylo is the only one who knows her. That’s not surprising, and that’s something that was played up by Rian Johnson in The Last Jedi. Rey is all alone, looking for her belonging, and I imagine that the pressure of being the last of the Jedi has to factor into that isolation too. But Kylo Ren knows Rey, and the two of them have a very unique and special bond.

Reylo, anyone?

Also, as someone pointed out on Twitter, this exchange seems to parallel one they had in TLJ too.

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Several TIE Fighters race toward this majestic iceberg, and I actually think that this is an asteroid of sorts. Upon initially looking at the image I thought it was an iceberg floating in an ocean on a planet, but after taking a closer look, I don’t think that’s the case for three reasons: (1) looking at the bottom half of this image, you can see stars; (2) the iceberg doesn’t look to be reflected, as the bottom doesn’t exactly look like a reflection of the top; and (3) there is no reflection of the TIEs flying. All of this makes me think that this is actually some sort of ice asteroid that the First Order is converging upon. But why? I have no idea. My guess is that either they’re looking to subjugate this place, or they’re responding to Resistance activity.

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It’s Palpatine’s throne!! This ominous looking throne, with spikes sticking out from it, is illuminated by lightning flashing in the background.

And as Phil Szostak pointed out on Twitter, the design for this throne actually originates from a 1981 sketch of the Emperor’s throne room for Return of the Jedi, by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie. That’s awesome.

As we see this throne, we then get the beginning part of a voiceover from Palpatine saying, “Long have I waited. And now, your coming together is your undoing.” There are two aspects of that statement.

Firstly, he has waited a long time. This probably speaks to his return, as he’s saying that he has waited a long time to return, however it happens. He has played the long game. His contingency has worked. He’s back. But it took him three decades to return to power.

Secondly, he says that “your coming together is your undoing”, which I have to imagine refers to Rey and Ben Solo. Snoke said in TLJ that “darkness rises, and light to meet it”, which seemed to indicate that the Force has sent lightness to counter the rising darkness. I wouldn’t be surprised if TROS picks up on that idea and furthers the connection between Rey and Ben by telling us more about that reality… and in that case, perhaps it’s this connection that has allowed Palpatine to return to power? I’m just guessing here, but it seems just like something Darth Sidious would do to take advantage of these two skilled Force users inextricably connected in order to rise to power once more.

 

 

 

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Ok, so that’s an Imperial class Star Destroyer breaking through!! With lightning in the background, this Star Destroyer is rising through some sort of surface. Is this Palpatine’s hidden Sith Fleet finally being revealed? I think so! And if it is, that’s a really cool way for it to happen. His contingency is done, he’s amassed a formidable force, and he’s ready to rule once more…

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But not so fast, because the Resistance has amassed a formidable fleet of their own!! In this stunning shot, we see tons of ships assembled and the Millennium Falcon dropping into view to lead them. There’s a ton to break down here, and I won’t possibly be able to get everything, but I want to point out only a few notable things (which I’ll probably write about separately, too). For a more detailed look, check out this thread on Twitter. But here are a few that I noticed:

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Red circle: is that a Mon Calamari star cruiser?

Pink circle: that looks like a hammerhead corvette, doesn’t it?

Yellow circle: this ship looks pretty similar to the Razor Crest (the Mandalorian’s ship), but it also looks an awful lot like a Wookiee gunship. I’m gonna guess it’s the latter.

Blue circle: this looks like the cruiser Han Solo and Chewbacca have when we first meet them in TFA… but is this the same one? (named the Eravana)

Orange circle: looks to be a U-Wing

Green circle: That’s the Ghost!!

It’s the last one that is by far the most exciting, as that looks exactly like the Ghost from Star Wars Rebels. If it’s not the Ghost, it’s another VCX-100 ship, and at that point why not just make it the Ghost? So I definitely think that this is indeed the ship we know so well, which is amazing. It already made an appearance in Rogue One, and now it looks to be in TROS. I don’t expect anything more than a brief cameo, but no matter what we get, I’m just so happy to see it here! Here would be my question, though: who is flying it, Hera Syndulla or Jacen Syndulla?

And one last note about this shot, and it’s the most obvious one: the Millennium Falcon drops into view to lead this massive assembled fleet into battle, presumably against Palpatine’s Sith Fleet. And who is flying this iconic ship to lead the Resistance into battle? That’s right: Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca.

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In this view of the Falcon cockpit, we can clearly make out Chewbacca in the co-pilot’s seat, and the figure in the pilot’s seat is wearing the yellow shirt that makes him easily recognizable as Lando Calrissian.

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While it’s Lando and Chewie flying the Falcon into battle, the next shot in the trailer gives us our main heroes all together in the ship’s cockpit. Rey and Chewie are flying it, and Finn, Poe, and C-3PO walk in to join them. Rey looks up at Chewie and gives him a smile. This is such a great shot, because this is the first time we’ve really had the big three of the sequel trilogy together in this trilogy. This is the money shot that people wanted, as our big three are all gathered together in the Falcon‘s cockpit. We can safely check that off our list of things we wanted to see, and it’s quite heartwarming.

 

 

 

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Here’s a different look at the epic scene we saw in the D23 reel: Rey and Kylo facing off atop the ruins of the Death Star, with waves crashing around them! Once more I’ll say that the visuals of this film look stellar, and I can’t wait to see this fight play out.

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Something explodes, and though we don’t get a chance to see what it is, it looks like a Star Destroyer that fires upon it (you can see it faintly on the left side of the screen).

 

 

 

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A speeder ramps off a wave as it approaches the ruins of the Death Star, and a close look tells us that it’s Rey flying the speeder (and I don’t see anyone else with her). In the first teaser for the film, we saw Rey standing on grassy plains with the other heroes looking at the wreckage, but earlier in this trailer we saw Rey jumping all alone inside what I guessed was the Death Star. So it makes sense that she would go it alone on this mission, and this speeder looks to be how she gets there.

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It’s Babu Frik! We first saw the tiny alien as an accessory to the C-3PO Black Series figure released as part of the Triple Force Friday blitz (and then we got an official picture of him), but this trailer now shows us him in action, working on C-3PO. The back of the iconic droid’s head is exposed, letting Babu Frik work on the wires as Rey stares intently on.

Screen Shot 2019-10-21 at 10.34.45 PM BB-8 and D-O! They also are watching what Babu Frik is doing to C-3PO.

 

 

 

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They’re not the only ones, either, as we see that Poe Dameron, Finn, and Zorri Bliss are there with 3PO, alongside Rey, BB-8, and D-O.

Poe asks, “What, uh, what are you doing there 3PO?”

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In the most emotional moment of the trailer, 3PO responds, “Taking one last look, sir. At my friends.” What’s going on here?!?

I have a guess. In the D23 reel, many people were taken aback by the shot of 3PO with red eyes, wondering what was happening. The most logical take was that something was happening to his memory, whether that meant restoring his memory, erasing his memory, or something like that. Well, given this line, I’m quite confident in guessing that C-3PO will have his memory wiped in The Rise of Skywalker, but for a cause that aids his friends. It wouldn’t be an accident or the result of him being kidnapped, since the heroes are all looking on (a bit somberly, I might add) at 3PO as this process happens.

So that’s quite emotional, for sure. But there’s another thing I want to point out from this shot: to the right of the image, in the background behind 3PO, is a disabled B1 Battle Droid!

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I have no clue whether that plays any sort of significance in the film, but even if not, that’s a great easter egg from J.J. Abrams that helps in a small, subtle way tie this film in with the prequel trilogy.

 

 

 

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After 3PO says that he’s taking a look at his friends, we get brief glimpses of two friends who aren’t seen in the other group shot), R2-D2 and Chewbacca. The glimpse of R2 could be from Babu Frik’s shop, and I would guess that he’s there whether we see him or not here. But the glimpse of Chewbacca doesn’t look like it’s from this same scene.

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Poe, Finn, and Chewbacca sprint through the hallway of a Star Destroyer, firing at (and killing) First Order stormtroopers as they evade blasterfire themselves, with Finn even leaping over a fallen stormtrooper as he runs. This is a really cool shot, and it makes me wonder what they’re doing here – are they trying to attack or escape? Either way, this looks awesome.

 

 

 

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We’ve seen these shots before, in the first teaser, but they show up again here, as Rey and Leia hug on the jungle planet (where we presume the Resistance base is located). A tear runs down Rey’s cheek, which makes me think that they’re saying goodbye. As we see this, we hear the beginning of a new voiceover from Luke Skywalker: “Confronting fear is the destiny of a Jedi. Your destiny.”

That’s such a great line. Remember, it was Yoda who said that fear is the path to the dark side, and that was embodied by the fall of Anakin Skywalker. So every Jedi at some point or another has to face fear, and in many ways that can be the distinguishing mark of a Jedi: someone who confronts fear but doesn’t give in. Those who give in to fear head toward the dark side; those who refuse to give in stay in the light. So in this film, Rey will need to confront fear. That’s her destiny – because it’s the destiny of all Jedi. But for maybe the first time in her life, Rey won’t be alone. Remember the voiceover from previous trailers: “a thousand generations live in you now”. Luke, Leia, and so many others are with her, but it’s her destiny.

 

 

 

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We previously also glimpsed this speeder chase on Pasaana in the first teaser, and we see a different shot of it here. BB-8 works on a canister, causing it to fire a shot into the air that explodes with yellow dust – which looks a lot like the festival on Pasaana that the heroes arrive at in the D23 reel. In this instance, though, the heroes use this in an attempt to flee from the First Order, and Finn lets out an excited cry with a fist pump, while Poe smiles in the background.

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As we identified earlier, Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca are the ones flying the Millennium Falcon into battle, and here they are piloting the ship. It’s amazing to realize that we’re going to get to see Billy Dee Williams as Lando one last time, and that he’ll be flying his old ship. I’m sure that this will mean even more in wake of Solo, as we got a glimpse in that film of how much the ship means to him. He sure looks like he’s having a great time here.

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A Y-Wing flies toward a Star Destroyer, taking out a TIE Fighter and then firing at the hangar on this destroyer. We’re getting all sorts of different ships making up the Resistance fleet in this film, and I’m loving it. Plus – and we’ll see this more clearly soon – it looks like this movie will deliver on giving us a massive space battle!

One other thought: there’s a LEGO kit of a Resistance Y-Wing with Zorri Bliss, so I wonder if she could be the one flying this ship here?

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But it’s not just ships that join in this battle, because then we get an epic shot of Finn and Jannah riding Orbaks into battle, leading Resistance troopers and with BB-8 rolling alongside. Notice, however, where this is taking place: on the hull of an Imperial Star Destroyer! We’ll have to wait and see how this works, but it looks really, really cool.

One thing to note here is that obviously BB-8 is with Finn and Jannah here leading the charge on the Star Destroyer. So… is Poe not a part of this space battle? I actually think there could be a far cooler explanation for this: Poe might be flying with R2-D2 instead. We have seen merchandise curiously featuring R2 in Poe’s black X-Wing, and perhaps the reason why is because BB-8 is with Finn and Jannah. I think it would be awesome if, as they’re coming up with the plan for this battle and Finn and Jannah say they need BB-8, Poe (or even R2) suggests that the Resistance ace fly with the heroic droid.

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Speaking of shots that look really cool, here’s Rey and Kylo Ren standing in what looks to be the ruins of Palpatine’s throne room on the second Death Star! Rey has her lightsaber ignited but Kylo does not, so they’re probably talking here (you can actually see Adam Driver’s mouth appear to be moving if you look ever so closely) – and maybe are just getting ready to fight? Or is this when they join forces?

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Earlier in the trailer we see Rey and Kylo dueling on the wreckage of the Death Star with the waves whipping around them, and now we see that Finn is there too, as he comes running and shouts, “Rey!”, looking concerned. So he is apparently a part of this scene, and so is Jannah (you can see her in the background just to the left of Finn’s shoulder). But I wonder whether he’s calling after her as she’s fighting Kylo, or perhaps more likely that he’s actually calling after her trying to keep her from traveling to the Death Star alone (as we see her flying alone on the yellow speeder earlier).

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Kylo and Ren are ‘together’ in this pristine white room and wind up destroying this shrine, which sure looks like it has the charred remains of Darth Vader’s helmet on it. What is hard to tell from this brief shot in the trailer, however, is whether Rey and Kylo are fighting and almost accidentally destroy this, or whether they actually work on it together. Upon initial viewing I thought they were working together, but now I’m not so sure – it almost looks like at the very beginning their lightsabers are toward one another, and then they smash this helmet.

Perhaps more significantly, though, is to note what Rey is holding in her left hand: a dagger! And while I’m staying spoiler-free in this breakdown, let’s just say that rumors suggest this dagger plays a very key role in the film. So we’ll see.

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Next we get a shot of Finn, Poe, and C-3PO looking intently at something, while a bright green light shines behind them. I really don’t have a clue what this scene is, so I won’t even guess. But they’re pretty focused on whatever it is, and I’m excited for Finn and Poe to share more screentime together in this film.

 

 

 

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Look at this space battle!!! As Finn and Jannah lead the Resistance forces into battle atop the Star Destroyer, riding Orbaks (and with BB-8 leading the way in this shot), we see that there’s a massive space battle going on around them. We’ve seen other shots of this in the trailer too, but this helps us grasp the sheer scope of this. There are tons of Star Destroyers, we see a B-Wing fly by, and ships are fighting all around. This looks like we’ll certainly be getting a worthy space battle to close out the Skywalker saga.

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It’s Kylo Ren/Ben Solo! Here he’s standing, with lightning illuminating the background, he stares at something, and then walks toward it.

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Rey confronting Palpatine!!! We see her standing all alone, confronting her fears (as Luke said earlier in the trailer) and staring at Darth Sidious. By the way, this looks a lot like the surface the Star Destroyers break through earlier, so this is probably Palpatine’s hideout in the Unknown Regions. Anyway, though, we see Palpatine off to the left of the screen, wearing the black robes we saw him in during Return of the Jedi. The initial guess is that he’s sitting on his throne… but if you look very carefully, you might notice that he’s moving. So does this chair he’s on move or something? Or is this just an illusion?

Either way, this is such a powerful image. Rey stands alone, the last of the Jedi, ready to risk it all in an effort to take down this phantom menace. She has been alone often in the sequel trilogy, and yet here she is, at the end, facing down her greatest enemy all by herself… or is she? If only there was another powerful Force user who is linked to Rey? I’d be shocked if Ben Solo doesn’t arrive at some point after this to aid Rey (proving she’s not alone) and help turn the tide against Palpatine.

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The trailer ends with this hopeful shot of Rey, lightsaber ignited, with a voiceover from Luke saying, “The Force will be with you,” after which we hear Leia say, “Always.” And that’s how the trailer ends, cutting to the title card.

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