Originally written by Thomas Bacon for Screen Rant
Lucasfilm has unveiled the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - and there are quite a few story details, Easter eggs, and more in it. The Star Wars Saga is coming to an end, a trilogy of trilogies that promises to bring light and dark into head-on collision.
Writer/director J.J. Abrams is back, and he's deploying his usual "Mystery Box" approach to marketing. Right now, the overarching narrative of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker remains enigmatic, and there's particularly intense speculation over just how the Emperor will return. Palpatine's unexpected resurrection was teased in the first Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer, and the return of Darth Sidious promises to bring the story full circle. Meanwhile, viewers are eager to see just how the Resistance finally triumph against the First Order, given the devastating losses they suffered in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
In a normal marketing campaign, the final trailer serves to give audiences a sense of the story. But this is far from a normal marketing campaign, because the end of the Star Wars Saga is a cinematic event that viewers are already thrilled about. As a result, even this final Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer avoids revealing the story beats. Here are the main takeaways.
10. DOMINIC MONAGHAN'S STAR WARS CHARACTER IS SEEN AT LAST
Lost star Dominic Monaghan is reuniting with J.J. Abrams in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and the new The Rise of Skywalker trailer offers a glimpse of his character. To date, precious little is known about the part Monaghan is playing, but the trailer makes it clear that he's a member of the Resistance. He's also a voice of hope, insisting that the Resistance may be diminished in number as a result of the First Order's attack, but it is not alone. It's interesting to compare Monaghan's sentiment with the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when the Resistance called out for help, and nobody came. That experience clearly hasn't shaken the faith of Monaghan's character.
9. TIE FIGHTERS OVER THE ICE PLANET
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer shows a fleet of new TIE Fighters sweeping down upon an ice planet. These are a new type of TIE Fighter, fairly similar to the classic design but with mysterious red patches upon their hulls. That color scheme has been seen on pictures of Kylo Ren's new TIE Whisper, so it may be they're intended to be the distinctive markings of the First Order. If so, then Kylo Ren has called down a fleet on this icy world.
8. THE EMPEROR'S THRONE
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer moves on to a shot of a sinister throne, surrounded by jagged edges. This is based on sketches by Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, which were made for the Emperor's throne room in Return of the Jedi. It's clearly intended to be Palpatine's new throne, and that sense is reinforced by a voice-over from Ian McDiarmid. "Long have I waited," he declares in the Emperor's voice. Notice the icy backdrop to the throne, suggesting that this ice planet is the world the Emperor has been waiting on - gathering his forces.
7. STAR DESTROYERS EMERGE FROM THE ICE
One of the most stunning shots in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer shows an Imperial Star Destroyer breaking out of the ice. The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker D23 trailer confirmed that the Emperor has a vast fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers, which appear to have Death Star technology integrated into their systems. Presumably they've been hidden beneath the ice - and now Palpatine orders them to rise to the surface, ready to launch a devastating onslaught upon the galaxy.
6. THE MILLENNIUM FALCON AND THE RESISTANCE FLEET
Fortunately, the galaxy still has heroes - and the Resistance has assembled to go to war. It's fascinating to see how the Resistance's numbers have improved over the year since Star Wars: The Last Jedi, when they were almost destroyed by the First Order. Official tie-in books have confirmed that Leia used similar tactics to those that allowed the old Rebel Alliance to flourish. She sent operatives across the galaxy to create a network of Resistance cells, with each cell building up a small arsenal and fleet. That explains why there's such a variation in ship design. Naturally, the Millennium Falcon takes its rightful place at the front of the Resistance fleet. There's some speculation that the Ghost, from Star Wars Rebels, is in the shot - but it's inconclusive.
5. C-3P0 SACRIFICES HIMSELF
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer teases C-3PO's death. He's shown being subjected to some sort of hacking, with an alien attempting to enter his processing matrix. That may well explain why previous trailers have shown Threepio with red eyes, a color that's traditionally associated with a hacked droid in the Star Wars galaxy. Disturbingly, Threepio doesn't expect to survive whatever is going on here. It's unclear whether his concerns are well-grounded, or whether he's being his usual melodramatic self; he does, however, sound surprisingly calm and resigned to his fate.
4. HORSES STAMPEDE ON THE STAR DESTROYER
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer moves on to an unexpected shot of the Resistance racing through a Star Destroyer on their equivalent of horses. No context is provided for this scene, so it's impossible to say what's going on, but it's so very true to George Lucas' original vision for Star Wars. Lucas was strongly influenced by the Vietnam War, where a scrappy bunch of freedom fighters held their own against the military might of the United States. There was a complete mismatch in terms of technology and firepower, and yet the US was unable to triumph. This image speaks of the same kind of power dynamic - and of the same unstoppable spirit. Notice that Finn appears to be leading the charge.
3. REY AND KYLO REN IN THE THRONE ROOM
The plot of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is largely a mystery, but for some reason it involves both Rey and Kylo Ren heading to the wreckage of the Death Star on Endor. This shot shows that they reach the heart of the Death Star, the Emperor's Throne Room itself. It's fascinating to see that the Throne Room is still recognizable, and testimony to the quality of the Empire's craftsmanship. It's possible the two have traveled here in order to seek out answers to the mystery of the Emperor's return.
2. REY AND KYLO REN DESTROY VADER'S MASK
In another surprising twist, Rey and Kylo Ren are shown working together, attacking what appears to be a plinth carrying Darth Vader's helmet. It's difficult to say why destroying the mask has become a priority for both Force-wielders, but the way it shatters apart is decidedly unnatural. That suggests the mask has been imbued with some dark side power; it could even potentially be key to the Emperor's plans. What's more, Rey can be seen holding a dagger of some sort in her left hand.
1. REY CONFRONTS THE EMPEROR
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer ends with Rey coming face-to-face with the Emperor. There's been intense speculation over whether the Emperor would return in physical form or as some sort of Sith spirit, but this shot confirms that he does indeed have a body. At the same time, though, the trailer continues to avoid giving a glimpse of Palpatine's face, which could be important. Note that Rey is stood on some sort of ice shelf, which again suggests that the ice planet is Palpatine's hidden base. Disturbingly, Rey stands alone; her friends aren't with her, and neither is Kylo Ren.
Tickets are now on sale for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!