Finally, the official trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has become available online. The movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, is slated for release on December 18th. This coincides with the official start of the ticker sales. Fans have been looking forward to the trailer with trepidation, as part of a general anxiety around the conclusion of the Sequel Trilogy. And while I enjoyed this trailer it certainly did not take away my own concerns. For those who have yet to see the trailer, can find it below.
So what do we see in the trailer. Well the opening shot is that of Rey (Daisy Ridley) training on what appears to be Yavin 4. There is a voice over of Finn in which claims the force brought ‘us’ together. There is a shot of Lando, a shot of Poe and Rose. Then we get to the meat of the trailer -- the confrontation between Kylo Ren and Rey on the ruins of the Death Star 2 (I presume). Rey gives a voice-over saying “People keep telling me they know me. No one does”. Kylo responds with “I do”.
Then there are series of quick establishing shots. The dead planet were Palpatine has been hiding, Star Destroyers of the Sith fleet breaking through the ice. More shots of the Millennium Falcon and the resistance fleet on their way to confront Palpy. All the while he is giving a voice-over, inviting Rey and Kylo (Adam Driver) to come. In the next shot we see a somewhat cheesy scene of C3PO undergoing some kind of dangerous procedure. Then more shots of our heroes running through Star Destroyers, speeder chases and battle scenes. All the while Luke is talking about destiny.
The final part of the trailer focuses back on Kylo and Rey. Their fight takes them to a special room on the Star Destroyer. Then we see Kylo and Rey each meet Palpatine in turn. The latter sees him riding some sort of special chair.
So there you have it. A shot summary of the trailer. It’s pretty standard fare, and most of it has already been leaked before. Yet, for me the fact that the struggle between Kylo Ren and Rey takes center stage is the most important aspect of The Rise of Skywalker. I am not really a Reylo shipper per se, but I do like their interaction and I do believe they symbolize yin and yang.
Sadly, there was also plenty that felt wrong with this trailer. The overall feel was too cheesy, with the resistance winning the war already a foregone conclusion. After the first rumors about The Rise of Skywalker were published it already felt that the return of Palpatine, the Sith fleet and Lando’s help felt like a Deus Ex Machina in the making. In this trailer I saw what appeared to be Lando’s daughter Jannah (Naomi Ackie) and Finn riding horse-like creatures to battle on the surface of a Star Destroyer. To me that takes the piss right out of the Expanded Universe.
The shot were Poe asks C3PO what he is doing and who replies with ‘Taking one last look sir, at my friends” felt like needless fan service and has already been lampooned online. After all, C3PO doesn’t really know anyone in that room. I tried to focus on the core of the plot -- the continued struggle between Kylo Ren and Rey along with Palpatine’s machinations. There is plenty of both in this trailer, but these shots pretty much confirm the plot leaks from few weeks ago. And I am not certain I wanted that.
And the conclusion
To sum it all up, this trailer did not make much of an impact with me. Certainly not on the level The Last Jedi trailer did. However, I don’t want to go to the movie thinking it will only be bad. That has been a problem with the Star Wars community for some time and its sucks the enjoyment out of everything. However, after the Sequel trilogy is done I do believe Disney should take stock and understand what they did wrong.