It’s hard to believe that after eight movies, decades of cool special effects and even the death of one of the most beloved actors in movie history (RIP Carrie Fisher), the Skywalker Saga is actually coming to an end. When The Rise of Skywalker comes to theatres on December 19, it really is the end of something special. The ninth and final film looks like it will be one of the most memorable yet, so of course it’s also completely shrouded in secrecy. Luckily the cast and crew—coupled with gripping trailers—have given us a few clues on what to expect. Let’s break it all down, shall we?
Let’s talk about that title
There have been basically a zillion hints and Easter eggs in the trailers, but the biggest one was obviously the name of the movie itself: The Rise of Skywalker. We have no concrete evidence which Skywalker the name refers to, but we have some working theories, especially now that Luke (Mark Hamill) is dead. The Internet seems to be divided into two camps on the subject: that Skywalker is either Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) or Rey (Daisy Ridley).
Our own sappy hearts are holding out for the latter to be true, because we love the idea of the galaxy’s new saviour being related to the Skywalkers (we don’t completely buy that her parents just sold her off for drinking money). Plus, we can’t disregard that in the trailer, her Jedi skills have been honed to a whole new level, and she’s now doing actual skywalks over TIE fighters.
We can’t rule out Leia
Of course the Skywalker in question could also be General Leia, but considering Fisher’s death it would be hard to have an entire film based on her alone. The good news is that she will be resurrected in a way for this, as director J.J. Abrams has confirmed they’ve integrated unused footage into the new movie.
Also, let’s not forget that Fisher’s daughter, the amazing Billie Lourd, also continues to be a part of the universe through her role as Lt. Connix. It makes for a nice little homage, no?
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And then there’s Ghost Mark Hamill
Last but not least, let’s not forget that Hamill is back to play Luke Skywalker in this final film, although he’s now a Force Ghost. Maybe he’ll try and talk Rey out of her Dark Side? Or perhaps he’ll continue to caution her against hanging out with his mad nephew, Kylo Ren.
The shot that broke the Internet
It would kind of confirm our hopeful theory that Rey is of Skywalker descent if she toys with going over to the Dark Side, as one shot from the film seems to indicate. We can’t stop looking at this picture of Rey in what looks to be Sith robes, holding a double-bladed lightsaber. Is she in disguise? Does she have an evil clone? Does something so dark happen to her that she can’t turn back? Does she make a deal with the devil to learn more about her parents? Who knew that one quick shot could lead to so many questions.
Is it wrong that I want Rey to turn to the dark side and let the dark side take over everything 🤔🤷🏻♂️😈 pic.twitter.com/Nt5lBfgvfQ
— HOLY SCHMITZ (@schmitz444) November 22, 2019
Rey versus Ren
Whatever happens, we know that this film will continue to give us the matchup we deserve: Rey versus Kylo Ren. Most fans believe Rey will embrace her Jedi skills and represent the light, while Kylo will go full-blown evil (because how do you really come back from killing your pops anyhow?) and rep the Dark Side. We all know this franchise is about balance, so that makes the most sense. The real question is, are they related or not?!
Rey and Kylo Ren are two sides of the same coin. Even when they’re not together they still haunt each other in a way — they know they are each other’s unresolved business. #Reylo #StarWars #StarWarsTheRiseOfSkywalker pic.twitter.com/eG6sYCKy8J
— meels, a little shit 🦓🥄 (@ser_snark) November 21, 2019
At least the gang is back together
Judging from the previews we’ve seen (and interviews we’ve devoured), it’s pretty much confirmed that Rey, Finn (John Boyega) and the rest of the get-along gang are reunited to face what Abrams is referring to as “the greatest evil.” Considering it’s been about a year since The Last Jedi timeline we’re excited to see the reunion play out, especially now that Finn has made some key wardrobe changes (hello resistance gear!).
It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all. pic.twitter.com/138AprtFuZ
— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) February 15, 2019
Poe steps up
It’s popular opinion that aduiences just didn’t get enough Poe (Oscar Isaac) in The Last Jedi, so we’re pretty jazzed that he’s back in a big way in the trailers for Rise of Skywalker. Of course knowing this franchise that means nothing, but it is kind of comforting to know that he seems to be stepping up into a leadership role.
They fly now!
The gang might be back together and Poe may be embracing his newfound managerial skills, but one thing no one banked on is evolved Storm Troopers. That’s right, thanks to one clip we now know the black-and-white soldiers have jet-pack-like abilities, which we can only imagine makes them next-level annoying when you’re trying to make a big escape.
Where is Rose?
One person who has been notably missing in all of the footage and hints released to-date is our gal Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran). We’re dying to know how she fits into the universe for the final film and how she’s going to interact with the rest of the crew (forgive us for still shipping her and Finn). But at this point, with so much story to wrap up and get through, we can only hope that she’s given her just due.
It’s unfortunate that the people who could learn the most from Rose Tico’s wisdom are amongst the people most loudly objecting to her existence. pic.twitter.com/FUiNOHHoZE
— Bria LaVorgna (@chaosbria) November 21, 2019
Emperor Palpatine is back
We have no clue if the return of Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) has anything to do with this “greatest evil” (but that laugh—pure evil) and we have no idea if the character appears as an apparition, as some sort of a clone, or as an undead version of himself. Sure, he was presumed to have died when he fell on the now-obliterated Death Star, but let’s not forget that old Hollywood rule: no body, no death. Maybe he somehow survived after all.
There’s a new face too
We’ve been driving ourselves nuts trying to figure out who this new character, Jannah (Naomi Ackie) is. We know that Ackie had to train for months to learn how to ride a horse for the role, and that she potentially plays a key role in helping the Resistance take down the First Order. What we really want to know though is if she’s actually the daughter of Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams).
Oh and speaking of Lando he’s back, by the way. It made our day when we learned Lando is riding in the Millennium Falcon alongside Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) once again.
— Oscar Isaac FR (@OscarIsaacFR) May 23, 2019
Felicity suits up
We can’t forget that Felicity herself, a.k.a. Keri Russell, is also in the film in another top-secret role, known only as Zorri Bliss. And yes, that’s basically all we know.
Other Easter eggs
Some of the other clues we’ve assembled from the previews, in no particular order, include: the return of the Death Star (and/or a new Death Star weapon?), a very anticipated appearance by the Knights of Ren (hello team Dark Force!), and BB-8’s new friend, a duck-like droid named D-O who may or may not become the next toy obsession heading into the holidays.
In short: Is it December 19 yet?