Breaking down the “Duel” TV spot for The Rise of Skywalker!

On Thanksgiving Day, a new TV spot for The Rise of Skywalker dropped, subtitled, “Duel,” and the iconic themes of “Duel of the Fates” and the “Imperial March” play in the background, making this one of the cooler spots released yet for the film.

You can check it out for yourself here:

There are several shots we’ve already seen, but there are also some very interesting new shots in this one that are worth looking at. So let’s break down this TV spot!

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As with most TV spots and trailers, this one includes footage of Rey fighting Kylo on the Death Star ruins, but this time we get a brand new line from Palpatine: “This will be the final word in the story of Skywalker.” That sets up what this movie intends to be – the final word in the Skywalker saga – but also shows that Palpatine is still set on eradicating the Skywalkers. After all, they’re the ones who have stood in the way of his plans, and so it seems he’s still holding that grudge.

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We also get some shots of the speeder chase on Pasaana, including a few new ones. At one point in this chase, a First Order stormtrooper ramps his bike off of a rock formation, and Rey fires at a bike as its in the air and destroys it. We’ve seen quite a bit from this sequence, but I’m sure there’s still plenty more to see in theaters soon too.

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There’s a new sequence of the Millennium Falcon being pursued by TIE Fighters. Then there’s a shot of Finn in the Falcon’s turret firing, and it very well could be from the same sequence. It looks cool, but what’s happening here? We don’t really have any context, but it looks like the ships are in a tunnel of sorts, and the only thing that we’ve seen that looks kinda like this is the Iceberg asteroid seen in one of the trailers. So is the Falcon there, or is this just somewhere else?

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We get a few new shots of the epic space battle that takes place, and we see an X-Wing being pursued by TIEs (those with the pointed wings).

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Poe Dameron in his cockpit looks distraught and yells, “NO!” as he watches something. This is an eerie shot – but what’s he looking at?

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The TV spot follows with this shot of what looks like a Y-Wing shot down and crashing onto the hull of a Star Destroyer, so it’s possible that this is what Poe is looking at. But I’m not so sure.

For this to get such an extreme reaction from Poe probably means that the person in trouble is someone close to him; that’s not to say that ordinary pilots don’t matter, but just that to generate this kind of response is probably someone more significant to him. So who could it be? I doubt that the TV spot would reveal that, so that’s why I’m not sure that shot of the ship crashing is actually the same crash that warrants Poe’s response. My best guesses are that something happens to either Snap Wexley or Zorri Bliss in this battle… but I’m hoping it’s not Wedge Antilles.

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This shot of her with her hood up certainly looks to be on Ahch-To, the planet where the first Jedi Temple is found, and where Luke went to go into exile, and where Rey found him. And this is a new shot, as we see Rey with her hood up (something we didn’t see in the previous films), and considering the next shot is a new one too…

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This is Rey standing in front of what looks like Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter, watching it burn! She’s on Ahch-To and wearing her hood, so this is probably what she’s looking at in that previous shot. But what’s going on here? It’s possible that Kylo crash-landed on the planet and that Rey is just now discovering that, but she doesn’t look worried or upset… she looks more resolved. And this shot is pretty reminiscent of Luke burning Darth Vader’s armor at the end of Return of the Jedi, so it might be more ritualistic than reactionary. Could that mean that Rey is actually the one burning this TIE?!?

One interesting thing of note here is that Rey’s outfit is looking pretty similar to Luke’s Jedi robes that he wore on Ahch-To when wanting to destroy the Jedi Temple, so is Rey taking after Luke? What if she’s running away to Ahch-To herself? Or is there something she’s going there to find/discover/learn?

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Babu Frik! The little alien is seen here laughing, and he’s still pretty adorable. It seems that he is the one who works on C-3PO on Kijimi (which I’m presuming is a sort of memory wipe), so that’s probably what’s going on here.

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We’ve seen this shot of Kylo Ren before, as he’s arriving on a planet… and here’s what is interesting now, given the other shots we’ve seen: the ground here looks an awful lot like the ground of the planet where Rey confronts Palpatine…

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We also see where Kylo is going, however, as he approaches this strange looking structure, with lightning appearing in the background. This structure looks almost like a wall that is elevated off of the ground, and he approaches. With the lightning, the darkness, the way the ground looks, etc., this all makes me think that Kylo might be arriving to whatever planet Palpatine is on.

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Kylo Ren raises his lightsaber and points it at someone off-camera (and it looks like someone might be standing behind him to the right of the screen?). But who is it? Palpatine?

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Here’s that shot we have seen before of Rey confronting Palpatine, with the lightning in the background. But it’s followed by a new shot…

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This is kinda styled after the shot of Rey holding her ignited lightsaber seen at the end of the final trailer, but in that shot she looks pretty calm. Here, she looks terrified. She doesn’t have her lightsaber ignited, and she’s looking around looking scared. That’s something that we haven’t really seen before, as when she faced off against Snoke she was still pretty resolved and wanting to save Ben Solo. Here, though, against Palpatine, she’s terrified. I think that goes to show just how powerful of a foe she’s facing… and I’m guessing before long someone else arrives to aid her in the fight.

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