Thanks to the first Star Wars: Episode IX teaser trailer that Lucasfilm, J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and several cast member debuted at Star Wars Celebration today, we know now the film’s actual title is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The trailer reveal, much like that of Star Wars: The Force Awakens several years ago, is rife with nostalgia. So much so that it’s almost an undeniable olive branch extension toward a vocal portion of the fan base who continue to spew venom at Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Trailer spoilers follows so if by slim chance you haven’t seen it yet, skip the words and head right to the embedded Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer below.
In the trailer we are treated a deliberate shot of Kylo Ren’s helmet being laser-soldered back together after it was destroyed in The Last Jedi. Some fans took offense to the helmet’s destruction, apparently Ren’s arc requires him to put it back on.
Rather than play off the motif that the Resistance, including Force users, are ready to rise up at the end of The Last Jedi, this trailer focuses on Rey carrying forward the Jedi Order on her shoulders alone. The film’s name in and of itself returns the emphasis on the Skywalker legacy rather than a girl whose parents were nobodies.
Using Skywalker in the title does call into question if there’s more to the name than a bloodline. We could learn that the name Skywalker can be taken up by a generation’s hero and become a legacy to be passed down to future generations. This would explain her parentage, unless Abrams chose to make Ben Solo’s findings in Rey’s mind a falsity.
The final shot in and of itself is striking as our heroes approach a cliff where the dish remains of a Death Star, presumably the Death Star II, rise above an angry sea. This shot echoes back to Jaaku on The Force Awakens and plays into an abandoned plot from that film where Rey would have gone underwater and into Palpatine’s chambers in the wreckage.
I say Death Star II because the trailer ends with the familiar cackle of Emperor Palpatine, presumably killed by Anakin Skywalker at the conclusion of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. How can Palpatine be alive, or is he really alive? There are countless questions yet to be answered.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters this December.