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Star Wars Nears its End

My Thoughts and Hopes for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I was six years old when I first saw The Phantom Menace on VHS at my grandparents home. That marked my introduction to the universe of Star Wars. Since then, I’ve read the books, played the games, and I went gaga over Star Wars: The Clone Wars. My loyalty to the franchise was great enough that I reluctantly put aside my misgivings and went to see Disney’s sequel trilogy. Too bad that The Force Awakens was a rehash of the first film, and the The Last Jedi wasted Luke. Still, nothing can diminish my love for Star Wars, and I intend to see it through to the end.

After the D23 2019 Expo announced that fans would have to wait a little longer for a trailer, I thought it’d be a few weeks. Imagine my surprise when I wake up this morning and find out Disney dropped the new trailer for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. After looking it over a few times, I thought I’d breakdown a few notable things I found.

Disney’s Really Pushing the Star Wars Nostalgia

The first half of the two minute special look’s dedicated to flashbacks. Starting with the iconic setting twin suns of Tatooine, the video goes through a montage of key moments throughout the films. Whether you grew up watching the original films four decades ago or saw the prequels like I did, it’s a trio down memory lane.

Given how culturally important Star Wars to almost three generations of people, I’m not surprised Disney went this route. They’re trying to bet on gathering fans of all ages for the presumed final chapter to the Skywalker Saga. Of course they’d try to use nostalgia bait to do so. The cherry on top of all this, though, is hearing Luke Skywalker’s voiceover; more on that later.

Lost Imperial Fleet?

Once we get into the first look proper, the first scene that stands out to me is the sight of a fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers. Unlike the larger and deadlier Star Destroyers used by The First Order, its made clear that these are the originals from the classic trilogy. The question is, what are they doing in the movie?

Right now, I can only think of two potential explanations. The first is that the First Order’s started salvaging ships from the Empire to help bolster their forces and speed their galactic conquest. The second is that this is an abandoned fleet of ships that the Resistance locates and commandeers. This would help them combat the First Order on slightly more even terms. Given how little of the main Resistance was left after The Last Jedi, I’m betting that General Organa would resort to the latter.

Rey’s Fall to the Dark Side?

After failing to get Kylo Ren to redeem himself, it seems that Rey’s given up on Vader’s grandson. We saw both literally and metaphorically shut the door on their Force Bond, after all. Since then, it looks as though a final battle between the two’s inevitable, with the video even showing a few seconds of one duel.

What surprises most, though, is what shown after said footage. We see a hooded Rey in a forest wielding a bendable version of a red, double-blades lightsaber. If you pause the video for a few seconds, you’ll notice that the crimson blades have the same jagged, crackling features of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber.

Right now, fans are speculating what this could all mean, and if Rey ends up choosing the Dark Side. I wouldn’t say that’s impossible: while training with Luke, we saw how she opened up to the Dark Side with ease. Going off of that, it makes sense that some fans could be worried about her going dark.

Personally, I’m not as convinced about that. From my perspective, Rey’s brush with the Dark Side seemed different from others we’ve seen use it. Some use it for the power it gives them; others use it for vengeance. The whole reason Anakin initially became Vader was to save his wife and unborn kids. Rey, on the other hand, got drawn in by simple curiosity. She wanted to know who her parents were, but beyond that, she didn’t seem to care about power or the like. So long as she doesn’t let herself be drawn into darkness, I don’t think she’ll fall.

I think it’s also important to point out that this isn’t the first time a trailer for a Star Wars film faked us out. Remember how Jyn Erso was in that Imperial uniform isn’t rh trailer for Rogue One? That never there no telling if it will happen here.

Rey’s Lightsaber?

The last shots show Rey wielding a form of double-bladed lightsaber. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen type of lightsaber, either. In an episode of Season Two of Star Wars: Rebels, we see visions of Jedi Temple guardians wielding the same kind of foldable lightsaber.

The weird thing, though, is that we see her practicing in a forest with her original lightsaber. AKA, the one used by Anakin and Luke Skywalker. I thought it damaged beyond repair, but I suppose Rey found a way to fix it, as we see her using it again.

In the time since The Last Jedi, Rey’s seemed to have made the Skywalker lightsaber her own. Throwing it a tree and then calling it back is a sign of her power growing. That, however, makes its absence at the end even more perplexing.

Evil Threepio?

This doesn’t seem to be anything major right now, but it’s got a lot meme potential! For some reason, we see a clip of C-3PO with now red eyes. The internet’s going crazy over speculation right now. My money’s on either evil twin or reprogrammed to do something big in the film. I just hope it doesn’t ruin his character too much

Is Palpatine Really Back?

This wasn’t addressed directly in the preview, but I think it needs to be mentioned: Palpatine. The Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, Palpatine’s the overarching antagonist of the first six films. Yet even though it looked like a redeemed Anakin killed him, promotions for the upcoming film indicate he’ll return in some form.

If Darth Sidious’ really going to come back, then I have one question: how? I saw him go over that railing; he exploded in a maelstrom of Dark Side energy. There’s no way he could survive that.

If he’s really alive, then I’m afraid there’s only one way that could happen. In the now non-canon EU, it’s revealed that the Sith Lord made an army of mindless clones for him to possess. Clever, but it still didn’t stop the Luke, Leia, and their friends from destroying him for good. I really hope that this isn’t a case of cloning, though. It feels dumb now.

Even if he somehow survived what happened to him, I doubt he’s lived for thirty-plus years. He’d be more than 110 year old. No amount of the Force can keep a human’s body running that long!

Given the poster and the sound of his voice in the preview, though, I know Palpatine’s got a role to play. My only hope is that Disney doesn’t mess it up. The idea of bringing him back already makes the idea of Anakin being the one to destroy the Sith pointless.

Your Thoughts?

So, everyone, I want to know what your thoughts are on this matter. What things stood out to you from the D23 Preview for The Rise of Skywalker? Does it pump you up for the movie in December? Let me know in the comments.

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