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Let’s Break Down This Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the conclusion to the latest trilogy and the entire Skywalker saga, apparently, and while we’re anxious to see what happens with Kylo Ren and Rey, last night’s brand new trailer didn’t really give us an answer to their fate or what the re-introduction of Emperor Palpatine means.

Going back and forth between working together and battling each other using both the light and dark sides of the Force, it seems as if Kylo Ren and Rey still are trying to figure out how they both can exist within the Force. The final trailer gave me more questions than answers, but it still managed to make me cry in public, secure my tickets for opening night, and pray that all my favorite characters make it out alive.

So, now that we’ve all seen the trailer, let’s get into it. First, a glimpse at Rose Tico.

Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer, standing in a rebel base.

Back at the base with the rest of the Resistance, Rose is clearly still in the fight (and this time, with the first look at Dominic Monaghan’s character), and it seems as if their base (and crew) is bigger than before—you may remember The Last Jedi ended with the Resistance in shambles. Though it’s brief, it does look like Billie Lourd (Carrie Fisher’s actual daughter) is with Rose and Monaghan’s character, and I can only imagine that means she’ll have a larger role with the Resistance than she did in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

While the rest of the Resistance seems to be at their new home base, Finn, Poe, and Chewie go on quite the adventure.

Poe Dameron, Finn, and Chewbacca standing outside a ship in a jungle in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Throughout the trailer, they’re all over the place—on ships, fighting against the First Order, and most importantly, on the Falcon. Chewie, while loyal to this new trio now, is still in his trusty seat, ready to take on the First Order. To me, maybe he’s doing it for Han, protecting Ben even though Ben Solo is the reason his friend is dead. Whatever the case, I love this shot a lot.

For me, this next one is a turning point in the idea of Rey and Kylo working together …

Rey, standing on ruins of Death Star II in the rain, looking pissed off in Rise of Skywalker trailer.

The anger that Rey has, ready to charge at Kylo despite their tremulous relationship throughout The Last Jedi, shows that no matter their journey, her respect for him may be nearly non-existent.

And while Rey and Kylo Ren’s battle is important, there is a new foe on the horizon, and we’re not free of the Emperor yet …

Emperor Palpatine's throne in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Palpatine, who was presumed dead, has a voiceover throughout this shot, saying, “Long have I waited, and now, your coming together is your undoing,” and it gives off the ominous feel that all of this, the rise of Kylo Ren and the continuation of the battle between the light and dark side of the Force, is still at his hand, even though we thought him dead.

In a fun nod, its design is based on concept art from the original Star Wars trilogy.

But you know what Palpatine always underestimated? The power that comes from those in your life. He used Anakin’s love for Padmé against him, but he underestimated the power that Luke and Leia had together, and it seems, with the accompanying shot, that he might be making the same mistake again with Rey’s found family.

Rey and Chewbacca pilot the Millennium Falcon while Finn and Poe enter in Star Wars: Rise of SKywalker trailer.

The cockpit of the Millennium Falcon has always been an important figure in the original trilogy and now this one, showing the joy and friendship these characters have with one another. So now, as Rey looks to Chewie while Poe and Finn come in, we see the same kind of love and power that exists with Han, Leia, Luke, and Chewie during the original trilogy. So, will Palpatine underestimate them yet again? Will this be the end of his hold over the Skywalker family?

Speaking of the Skywalker family …

Rey and Kylo Ren lightsaber battle on Death Star II ruins in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Look, I’ve been team “Jacen and Jaina” since the beginning. A storyline within the Star Wars EU that brought Han and Leia’s twins together (despite both Han and Leia believing their daughter, Jaina, to be dead), Rey and Kylo Ren seemed to fit within the same idea for me—maybe not specifically the same storyline that Jacen and Jaina followed, but their dynamics, their connection, it all connected back to these twins. So, for me, I felt as if Ben Solo and Rey were siblings from the beginning, and the way they go back and forth from working together to fighting one another only reinforces that idea for me.

But the trailer isn’t just about the battles between them. In fact, it’s about saying goodbye.

C-3PO in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Did I think, in the year of our lord 2019, that I’d be crying over C-3PO? No, I hate C-3PO, and yet here I am, sobbing because he said that he wanted to take one last look at his friends. That being said, 3PO is known for being dramatic. So, to me, this is one of those iconic 3PO moments where he terrifies everyone. (But also Babu!!!!!)

Still, this sweet moment did lead into an actual goodbye for all Star Wars fans.

Rey and Leia hug in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever watch this hug and not cry. Carrie Fisher, who we tragically lost in 2016, has been my personal hero since I was a kid. Watching as Rey hugs Leia, crying into her? It means the world to me, and I don’t think I can handle saying goodbye to this character and the legacy that Carrie Fisher is leaving behind. That being said, looking at this, I have to wonder what it means for both Rey and Leia. Is this Rey going off to fight Kylo and Leia asking for her to bring back her son? Is it the understanding that this is her long-lost daughter? Who knows!

But you know what we do know? LANDO IS BACK, BABY!

Lando and Chewie pilot the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Lando Calrissian, a fan favorite, hasn’t been back in the main story since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Sure, Donald Glover brought him to life in Solo, but seeing Billy Dee Williams back in the flesh, sitting next to Chewie in the Falcon? There is no better feeling.

But then, the trailer gives us another look at the back and forth between Rey and Kylo that seems to happen throughout The Rise of Skywalker.

Rey and Kylo destroy a foe together in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

While they seem to be fighting side by side here, they are also at odds in this trailer, too, so what does that mean? I think it means the struggle for both Rey and Kylo continues. They still fight through the light and the dark and try to find balance within themselves. I also think that this helps reinforce my own theory about the relationship between them, but I’ll have to wait and see what actually pans out.

But you know what is a bigger “ship” and perfect and everything I want in my life?

Poe Dameron and Finn stand together in the dark in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Space boyfriends Poe Dameron and Finn are working side by side (a delightful turn FOR ME), but as my friend points out, they have the WORST person with them.

Does the fact that C-3PO cockblocked them mean that they’re boyfriends? I sure hope so. Because that’s when you know you made it as a couple, when C-3PO ruins your moment.

But, in all seriousness, the end of this trailer is when it really hits home (for me at least) that this is the end for this trilogy.

Rey stares into the camera, holding up a blue lightsaber in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

As Luke Skywalker says, “The Force will be with you,” and Leia Organa comes in with “Always,” it feels as if everything we love about the Star Wars series has been placed in front of us, watching as Rey looked directly into the camera with her lightsaber.

The journey of Star Wars is far from over—we know that—but this is still the conclusion of this trilogy, and we’re saying goodbye to Rey, Finn, and Poe for the time being. To see what ends up happening with these characters, to watch as we get our final send-off of Leia Organa (and, by extension, Carrie Fisher), it is going to be emotional, and this trailer did a beautiful job of tugging the heart-strings of this Star Wars fan.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.