The First Trailer For 'Star Wars: Episode IX' Is Here & I Am Not Okay!
It’s appropriate that the first teaser for the last installment of the Star Wars saga opens with Rey’s heavy breathing and trying to calm herself, because I was doing exactly the same thing…
At Star Wars Celebration in Chicago this morning, the cast and creators of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy gathered together to finally throw us fans some meaty bones to chew on. And chew I am, but I find the meat very… tough.
By that, I mean there is A LOT to digest here, so I’m gonna do my best to break it all down for you!
First, a quick refresher on the story so far: Last we left our gang (in The Last Jedi), Rey and what’s left of the Resistance (including Finn, Poe, Rose, General Leia, Chewbacca, C3PO, R2-D2, and BB-8) were dashing off from the salt planet Crait, where Luke Skywalker had succeeded in holding off Kylo Ren and the First Order by Force-projecting himself (and ultimately dying) to give our heroes a chance to escape. Rey was feeling defeated, holding the broken Legacy Lightsaber in her hands, while Leia assured her “We have everything we need.” Meanwhile, Kylo Ren was feeling some type of way after Rey seemingly severed their Force-bond for acting like a total dick.
We now jump ahead in time (sources say 1 year)… We open on Rey, trying to steady her breathing as she stands in the middle of a vast desert (Tatooine? Jakku?) seemingly waiting for something. We then hear the tell-tale sound in the distance of a TIE fighter. Upon spotting it, Rey ignites the (now apparently mended) Legacy lightsaber. As the TIE fighter comes closer into view, we realize it’s actually Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer! We don’t see his face but we see his be-gloved hands gripping the controls as he races toward Rey, as if some kind of intergalactic joust is about to happen. As he gets closer, Rey suddenly springs into the air – to leap over the Silencer, or to climb atop it? It cuts away before we see… During this sequence, we see text that says “Every Generation Has a Legend”… which, incidentally, also appeared in the trailer for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. We also hear a voice-over from Luke Skywalker himself (in Force-ghost form, presumably) saying "We've passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight." Is he talking to Rey? Maybe, maybe not... more on that later.
So the obvious assumption here is that Rey and Kylo Ren are facing off against each other again.... but are they? My first thought upon seeing this is that it's some sort of training exercise. The way that she turns and looks back as if waiting for her space-Uber to arrive, the fact that he's not firing on her, the fact that the scene cuts away while she's still in mid-air, the fact that the Han/Leia Love Theme begins to play immediately afterwards... Yeah, I'm not convinced this is actually a "fight" and not another badass team-up between our Force-connected, star-crossed adversaries....
We then see a shot of Kylo Ren (UNMASKED) in a red-tinged forest taking some poor fool down -- a Resistance fighter? Hard to say. This is followed immediately by someone giving Kylo's mask the kintsugi treatment, gluing it back together with a red substance of some kind.
From there, we get a shot of our second-favorite couple in this series, Finn and Poe, looking dashing as ever. Finn appears to be holding Rey's old staff; is she there with them, or did she pass along her trusty old weapon now that she has a kick-ass lightsaber to wield?
A glimpse of BB-8 and his new droid BFF Dio:
Our favorite smooth-talker Lando Calrissian piloting his former prized ship, the Millennium Falcon (somewhere Han is grinning... or grimacing):
Then we see the words "The Saga Comes To An End", which seems to be an inversion of the Phantom Menace trailer, which said "Every Saga Has a Beginning"...
We then see some explosions in another (or the same?) desert locale and a cruisier carrying Poe, Finn, and C3PO.
Then we see a pair of hands, presumably Leia's, holding a Medal of Yavin, which she awarded Han Solo and Luke at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope, followed by a shot of Leia and Rey embracing. Lucasfilm had previously announced that they would be using old, unused footage of Leia from The Force Awakens and integrating it into this film in the absence of Carrie Fisher. The shot of Leia and Rey actually looks very similar to the same shot at the end of TFA.
Here we get more voice-over from Luke: "We'll always be with you. No one's ever really gone."
Under this, we see Rey and her gang of rebels on a cliff staring out at what appears to be wreckage from the Death Star (or one of them).
The scene then cuts to black, and suddenly we hear a strangely familiar cackle... EMPEROR PALPATINE???!!?
And then BOOM: We Have a Title!
What can it all meeeaaaaan???? Well, first things first. The last surviving Skywalker in the Sequel Trilogy is none other than Kylo Ren, the dark prince formerly known as Ben Solo. Is this who the title is referring to? I mean, it kind of has to be, right? He's the only one! (In this house, we do not acknowledge "ReySky", that theory has been long dead.) The fact that Kylo's theme music plays over the title reveal seems to indicate this. It has long been theorized that the Sequel Trilogy is setting out to sort of be a "reverse" of the Prequel Trilogy. In the latter, we saw sweet, innocent Anakin Skywalker grow up to become the dark lord Darth Vader, shunning all that he held dear to become one of the greatest villains in the Galaxy under the tutelage of Darth Sidious, AKA Emperor Palpatine. In the Sequel Trilogy, Kylo Ren has sworn that he will "finish" what his long-dead grandpa has "started"... Perhaps he might, just not in the way he intended. By inverting the Prequels, which was a villain origin story, the Sequels seem to be focusing on a redemption arc for the villain instead. This brings me back to Luke's voice-overs -- perhaps he is visiting his wayward nephew from Beyond and telling him that, through his bloodline, Kylo/Ben bears the weight of an entire generation, and it's up to him to make things right in the Galaxy, because he's the only one left who can do so... with Rey's help, of course, as she has been established as his "equal" in the light. And with the return of Palpatine (who Darth Vader killed in Return of the Jedi to protect his son, Luke... or so we thought), no doubt Kylo and Rey will have to team up once again to defeat the REAL evil in the Galaxy... just as Luke and Vader did decades before. Only this time... Kylo Ren gets to live, as Ben Solo, and have a chance to set to rights all his wrongs. As Rey told him in TLJ, "It's not too late..."
Well that certainly is a lot of food for thought! I can't wait to see what else we will learn when the FULL trailer is revealed, probably sometime in the Fall. It's a long road until December 20, when The Rise of Skywalker hits theatres... hopefully it's worth the wait!
(Image via Lucasfilm)
- Katie Marzullo, YH Staff Editor