Will The Rise of Skywalker offer a fitting conclusion to the Star Wars saga?
The ninth and final instalment in the Star Wars series, The Rise of Skywalker has pretty much everyone hyped and excited about how the decades-long saga will finally conclude.
JJ Abrams, who also directed The Force Awakens, returns to the director’s chair, with much of the same cast from the previous film returning as well. The surprise release of the first teaser only adds to the intrigue surrounding the film and teases a few ominous warnings along the way.
The trailer opens to some cryptic voice-over narration by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill),
“We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.”
It then quickly shifts focus to the character whose journey has been at the centre of the new Star Wars trilogy – Rey (Daisy Ridley). After watching her dodge a TIE fighter, we get a look at some of the other characters, from the villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the returning fan-favourite Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) to the gutsy pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega). There’s even an emotional look at General Leia (Carrie Fisher); emotional particularly because the film will serve as the final role for Fisher, who passed away in 2016.
Towards the end the trailer again features voice-over narration from Skywalker:
“We’ll always be with you. No one’s ever really gone.”
All the while our heroes look towards what looks like the wreckage of the Death Star. With these foreboding words, the trailer gives us perhaps the most intriguing twist in its final seconds, when we hear an evil laugh that sounds eerily similar to Emperor Palpatine.
Though the previous film, The Last Jedi, elicited a pretty divisive response, there are a number of reasons to be excited for Episode IX, beginning with the fact that there seems to be a genuine feeling of finality and catharsis in this film. And while the last film was chastised by fans for being self-indulgent and deviating too far away from the Star Wars formula, the Episode IX teaser reaffirms all the things fans have come to love about the series over the decades, something most evident by the addition of Williams to reprise his role as Lando.
But again, the most exciting tease which the trailer only spends a couple of seconds on is that of Emperor Palpatine, who as many may know was the big bad in the original Star Wars trilogy and met his end in Return of the Jedi. Him being in the film could actually be very interesting because regardless of how he returns (force ghost or not) his addition could finally give the new trilogy the villain it has so desperately needed; something that Kylo (Driver) and Snoke (Andy Serkis) have not been able to deliver on.
Abrams will have a lot to deliver on with Episode IX, not just because of the backlash surrounding The Last Jedi but also because this is the concluding chapter of the Star Wars story. The good thing is that he understands commercial filmmaking as well as the expectations that fans have from Star Wars. Let’s hope he can deliver on these expectations.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits cinemas on December 20, 2019.
All photos: IMDb
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