This will contain spoilers, if you want to know nothing about the film, don’t read on.
So, after months of anticipation, we have a title and we have a trailer. The final instalment of the Star Wars saga as we know it will be called The Rise of Skywalker, and we’ve been given our first glimpse of the film through a short teaser trailer.
For me, the biggest talking point will, of course, be the confirmation that Emperor Palpatine is back. I predicted this a while ago, and it all but confirms that the film will be taking advantage of it’s extended lore and it looks as if time travel will be a prominent part of this film… Something which I’m sure will prove to be rather divisive amongst fans . The rumours that Matt Smith will be playing a younger version of the character would, in my eyes, appear to be completely true, and it will explain how The Emperor will return to our screens. (Seeing Ian McDiarmid on stage after the screening of the trailer basically confirms he is in the film, so we’ll undoubtedly be seeing The Emperor we’ve all grown up with, in some form.)
There are many ways of interpreting the title as well, but my prediction is that this means Luke will have a prominent role in the film as a Force Ghost, and will likely influence events more than we are used to when it comes to Ghost cameos in the franchise, I would also be shocked if we didn’t see Hayden Christensen as Anakin in this film. JJ Abrams has said this will tie together all eras of Star Wars, so to have The Emperor return with no prequel characters in sight will make no sense narratively, so I’m confident we’ll be seeing the return of characters like Anakin and Obi-Wan in some form, these are things that they may save for the next trailer, or they may just save until the film itself, but I would be surprised and disappointed if this doesn’t happen!
Many are speculating the title also hints at JJ Abrams reversing the revelation about Rey’s parentage in The Last Jedi, I’m not so sure on this, and we need to remember that Kylo Ren is technically a Skywalker too, so this could hint at his redemption just as much as it hints towards Rey actually being a Skywalker. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on a Kylo redemption rather than a “Rey is actually a Skywalker” swerve, although neither would surprise me given the backlash The Last Jedi received by some. Personally though, I hope the “Rey Rando” twist sticks, as I like the idea that she is nobody.
Apart from that, we don’t get to see too much, apart from your standard generic action sequences that you expect from Star Wars, a foreboding voiceover from Luke Skywalker which hints that there are still plenty of surprises to come, a glimpse of Lando, creatures aplenty, everything we’re used to. It’s clear that the production team are holding back a lot of information, understandably so. Palpatine’s return is the hook at this stage in the promotion, and it’s probably all we will need for some time.
My thoughts? I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. I’m extremely intrigued to see how this will all work and how it will tie the story together, I do fear that this will just be another film that feels disconnected from the other two in the trilogy, but until I’ve seen it I can’t judge it at all. If they’re going down the route of implementing extended lore from Star Wars Rebels, like the time travel plot device, then I can envision a lot of casual fans being frustrated, but a lot of hardcores will love it. This does seem like it will be extremely heavy on fan service, whether that is to counteract the backlash from The Last Jedi, who knows?
All I do know is, I’m looking forward to finding out more in the coming months. The excitement can now begin!
What did you think of the title reveal and the trailer? Let me know!