With new titles such as Us capturing the attention of viewers at the box office and others like Avengers: Endgame leaving fans bristling in anticipation for their releases, one prominent movie franchise has faded from the forefront of the public consciousness, Star Wars. That changed today when Disney, fresh off the heels of announcing their upcoming streaming service Disney+, dropped a two-minute teaser trailer to the finale to the sequel trilogy of the Star Wars franchise. From all initial indications and viewings, this could be the sensational Star Wars sequel we have been looking for.
If you haven’t watched the trailer already, you can watch the link to it below:
The returns of the Disney-Star Wars merger have been disappointing to a vast majority of fans, from the frequent and crowded releases of new movies to the polarizing treatment of classic characters to the production of spinoff movies that earned mixed reviews. Basically, a large portion of the Star Wars fan base was turned off by Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and the momentum the sequel trilogy had going for it effectively vanished. That was never more obvious than when Solo, a spin-off based off the original’s iconic smuggler, hardly made waves at the box office. While I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens in theaters, they’ve left a bit to be desired in the storytelling and creativity departments.
It seems that a new hope has emerged for the Star Wars, one that could build back up the momentum that was lost over the past few years. For one, J.J. Abrams, the mind behind the more critically acclaimed and fan-accepted Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, is back in the director’s chair and given the opportunity he deserved to fully develop the storylines he planted in The Force Awakens. The return of some of the series’ most beloved characters, including Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian, has also attracted attention. But it was the unexpected trailer that should have fans circling Christmas 2019 on their calendars (unless they already circled it already, of course) and counting down the days until the finale drops. Yes, I’m judging from a trailer, but this movie has the potential to be very, very good.
In the trailer, our protagonist Rey stands in the sand of Jakku, waiting until some type of First Order aircraft flies straight at her and then contorting in the air to move out of its path. A montage of exciting moments follows, most interestingly Lando back in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon and Princess Leia (still played by the late Carrie Fisher) embracing Rey. But the biggest punch comes at the end, with Luke Skywalker’s voice over revealing that “no one’s ever really gone” and the cackling laughter of none other than Darth Sidious playing over a blank screen. Wow.
The trailer feels just about perfect – giving audiences a taste of the emotion and action while still keeping viewers in the dark. And the moniker of “teaser” is fitting. Why is Luke giving the voiceover? What is Rey doing back on Jakku? And the biggest question, is Darth Sidious actually alive? After Last Jedi effectively put all of the compelling questions posed by its predecessor to rest in a controversial finale, this trailer has given us reasons to come back for more. Oh, and not to mention the new title, the seemingly ironic The Rise of Skywalker. That ambiguous and unorthodox title begs a ton of questions itself and will intensify the speculation even more.
Of course, we all want a great movie, not an exciting trailer. From what I’ve seen, Star Wars Episode IX has the potential to be brilliant. The action will be immensely entertaining, the humor will return to J.J. Abrams’ hands after a much-maligned effort from Rian Johnson, and the big names will be back. I think it comes down to what will make or break this movie and the sequel trilogy as a whole – its story. The other sequels have hinted at something cool and unique that could and should be the central focus of this movie – the nature of the Force and whether the Jedi and Sith are really necessary. The Rise of Skywalker could reshape how we see every previous movie in the Star Wars saga and enrich those experiences, plus tie the whole saga together with an epic climax. That is a lot to ask and it could easily flop if not deftly executed, but it has the potential to be something truly spectacular.