The trailer that we have all been waiting for has dropped! Released during Monday Night Football on what would have been Carrie Fisher’s 63rd birthday, I had to wait until I woke up this morning to watch it. And boy was it an emotional experience… there were tears!
As I generally do when a new Star Wars trailer comes out, I will take a look through the footage and give my thoughts, as well as try to make some predictions for what I think is happening. Though this is the last trailer to drop, I imagine that there will be numerous TV spots over the next couple of months, but I will likely avoid watching those so that I can go into the film as fresh as possible.
First off – and I’m pretty sure I say this about every Star Wars trailer – but the trailer is a work of art. It looks visually stunning and the music is perfect. One of my favourite things about the Disney-era movies is how well they have utilised both practical effects and CGI to create the best looking movies in the franchise. I also want to applaud the trailer for teasing so much but also leaving so many questions for us. With the trailers for Rogue One and Solo, I felt that I could piece together a lot of the main storyline from what we have been shown, whereas Episode IX’s trailers have done a great job of keeping everything vague enough that I can’t figure out how it all fits together into the story.
We start with Rey in a forest being chased by what looks like a training remote. From the footage here and in previous trailers, I imagine that this is her training, but as I have seen others pointing out, it could also be that this remote is legitimately attacking her (though I personally find this less likely). This transitions to a shot of her climbing through what appears to be the remains of the Death Star, while a voiceover from Finn (who we quickly see in a shot) talks about how he thinks that the Force brought them together.
We then see a Resistance force – small, but much larger than they finished The Last Jedi with – crowding around a group that clearly includes Lando, Poe and Threepio, while the next shot shows Rose, Connix and Dominic Monaghan’s character looking at something offscreen while everyone else appears to be running in the opposite direction. We then get a shot of Poe, Finn and Chewie next to Poe’s new X-wing in a forest, before a shot of a CR90 corvette flying low under the trees. All these shots in a forest lead me to believe that this is where the Resistance are grouping together, which heightens my feelings that Rey is simply training.
As the music begins to grow, we see more shots of Rey and Kylo on what looks to be the Death Star with the water all around them, and every piece of footage I see from this sequence makes me more excited. We see a squadron of TIEs heading towards a glacier that appears to have a settlement on it, before the scene shifts to an empty throne that is reminiscent of the Ralph McQuarrie concept art of Palpatine’s throne for Return of the Jedi. We see an Imperial Star Destroyer rising from under the ice and I imagine that this is the fleet assembling that we saw in the D23 footage. Before a quick shot of the Falcon at the head of a ridiculously huge fleet. I’m so glad that this shot was included in an earlier tease for the trailer, as otherwise in my excitement I probably wouldn’t have noticed as much as I should have in these few seconds of footage. Think of a Star Wars ship and it would appear that it’s in this fleet. There are U-wings, Resistance bombers, Nebulon-Bs, Nebulon-Cs, YT-2400s, Hammerhead corvettes, Dornean gunships, a Baleen-class heavy freighter (like the Eravana, Han’s ship in The Force Awakens) and many more. But most important of all: a VCX-100. There is no way that you make that ship so prominent in the footage and don’t have that be the Ghost, which now has me hoping that we hear (or maybe even see) Hera in this movie!
Moving on from the ship-spotting, we see Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie and Threepio all in the Falcon’s cockpit, and it is great getting to see all the new trilogy’s heroes together. We get more footage of Kylo and Rey’s fight on the ruins and a shot of something big exploding in front of a Star Destroyer. A later shot in the trailer highlights the large ventral gun on these Star Destroyers, so this makes me think that we are seeing the result of the shot from the D23 footage of a planet getting hit with a large blast. We see Rey making her way to the Death Star on some sort of speeder skimming over the water.
And then our heartstrings get not just tugged on but fully ripped out. We see Babu Frik doing some work inside Threepio’s head and, when asked what he’s doing by Poe (with Rey, Finn, BB-8, D-O and Zorri Bliss also there), he replies “Taking one last look sir, at my friends.” My initial thought was that Threepio was going to have to sacrifice himself somehow to help the Resistance, but I heard Alex Damon of Star Wars Explained suggest that Threepio is having his previous memory wipe reversed, which will feel like a sacrifice as every experience since that memory wipe will be lost. Having heard that, I think that this is more likely (or Threepio having to undergo another memory wipe for some reason) considering Babu Frik is working on the electronics in his head specifically. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Threepio, but I never imagined anything serious happening to him until now and was shocked at how much this moment affected me.
From here the trailer really amps up as we get a beautiful new version of the Main Theme that really hammers home the finality of this film being the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. We see Poe, Finn and Chewie blasting their way down a corridor, the shot from previous footage of Rey and Leia hugging, more footage of the skiff chase on Pasaana, Lando and Chewie piloting the Falcon, then a Y-wing flying towards the underside of a Star Destroyer and firing at the ventral gun. The way that this pilot is doing some fancy flying makes me think that this is not just any old pilot, but someone we know, which makes me think that we could see Snap or even Wedge as the pilot of this fighter. Over this we hear Luke say “Confronting fear is the destiny of a Jedi.” We’re surely getting Luke as a Force ghost at some point in this movie, and I think his role in this movie is going to be very poignant.
We see Finn, Jannah and a number of other fighters charging over the surface of a ship on Orbaks with BB-8 rolling beside them. A shot of Rey and Kylo facing off in the Death Star throne room, then a second shot of the two of them in a white room destroying something together (Kylo now masked) before returning to a reverse shot of that cavalry charge to show that it appears to be on a Star Destroyer, with the entire fleet in the background and a battle going on around them. I’d never realised how much I wanted a cavalry charge on the outside of a ship in the middle of a dogfight until now! The shots of Kylo and Rey now have me all but certain that “Bendemption” is happening and while I don’t mind what happens to him as long as it feels right to the story, I really hope that he does not sacrifice himself as that will be too similar to Vader. I get the feeling that the scenes with Kylo unmasked will be earlier in the movie and that when he wears his remade helmet, this will be once he comes back to the light side. Luke’s line about confronting fear could legitimately be said to him rather than the obvious choice of Rey, while an earlier line from Palpatine in the trailer saying “Your coming together is your undoing” suggests that the pair will be teaming up to take him on.
We see a shot of Rey facing off against a hooded figure and as the music ends, a final shot of Rey in the dark, one side of her face illuminated by her lightsaber blade, as Luke’s voiceover says “The Force will be with you” and Leia’s voice finishes “Always”. A perfect end to a trailer with another quick tease of (surely) Palpatine, who we have heard earlier in the trailer, before the final peace of Luke’s wisdom there and the emotional final tribute to Carrie. It’s interesting that we don’t clearly see Palpatine in this trailer (or any of them), which leads me to heavily believe that he is going to look different somehow in this film, so his appearance is being kept a surprise. I’m also surprised by how we have not seen any footage of Hux (or new character Allegiant General Pryde) in any of the trailers and his makes me think that they are going to have a relatively small role in the movie.
Did I need this trailer? No. I would have got myself to the cinema as soon as possible to see this film without any trailers or teasers, but it does a fantastic job of getting me hyped for the conclusion to the saga. If the film is anywhere near as good as the trailers are suggesting, my Top 3 may need some rethinking.
What did you guys think of the trailer? Any theories?
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you.