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Breaking down all the key moments of the first Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer

Breaking down all the key moments of the first Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer


Only eight months to go

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The first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (the newly announced, official title for Episode IX, the upcoming conclusion of the Star Wars Skywalker saga) is here, and Lucasfilm has given fans a surprising amount of footage to dissect.

There are virtually no details on Episode IX’s actual plot or story in the trailer, just a lot of disconnected scenes, but there are still plenty of hints about what to expect from The Rise of Skywalker. We’ve broken down all the key moments of the trailer below, along with our best guesses at what it all means.

The trailer opens with a shot of Rey on an unknown desert planet. (Jakku? Tatooine? Geonosis? Somewhere new?) “We’ve passed on all we know,” Luke Skywalker intones in a voiceover. “A thousand generations live in you now.”

She’s holding her lightsaber, which seems to have been repaired from when it was split in half at the end of The Last Jedi.

A ship — similar in appearance to Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer, but with a more traditional, spherical TIE Fighter cockpit and red accents — barrels toward her, and Rey flips over it.

An A-Wing fighter flies toward a city at night on what appears to be a different planet than the original desert.

Kylo Ren (now the Supreme Leader of the First Order) suplexes an attacker (who appears to be wielding an axe? Like a regular axe?) with his lightsaber, cutting him in half.

There’s a shot of Kylo repairing his helmet, which he smashed to pieces in Last Jedi after his mentor, the (now deceased) Snoke, taunted that Kylo isn’t anything like his idol Darth Vader: “You are just a child in a mask.” With Snoke no longer negging him, it seems Kylo has decided that it’s safe to wear the mask again, now with some cool new red cracks running through it.

Lando (Billy Dee Williams) is once again back in the Millennium Falcon, flying with Chewbacca as co-pilot. The Falcon has bounced back and forth between Han and Lando a lot over the years, as anyone who saw the prequel movie Solo knows. And of course, Lando is decked out in his classic style, with a flashy yellow tunic and his signature cape.

There’s a chase scene with our heroes on the same desert planet as Rey, from the opening shots of the trailer. While it’s tough to tell, the speeder involved does like pretty similar to the skiffs Jabba the Hutt used in Return of the Jedi. Devices that look like moisture vaporators (those spire-like structures moisture farmers like Luke’s uncle Owen used to extract water from the air) might indicate that The Rise of Skywalker returns to where the Skywalker story began, on Tatooine. Also in this shot: jet-pack stormtroopers!


Someone holds one of the medals awarded to Luke and Han (but not Chewie, infamously) after the Battle of Yavin IV.

Rey, Poe, Finn, Chewie, C-3PO, BB-8, and newcomer droid D-0 (who looks like a small robo-duck) come to the edge of a cliff in a grassy field which, the next shot reveals, looks out over an ocean, with what appears to be the wreckage of one of the Death Stars.


Given that the two known Death Stars were destroyed over Yavin IV and Endor, it’s likely that this is one of those two planets, or a world somewhere in the vicinity. The geography doesn’t resemble either of those two planets, but my bet is on Endor, given the next part of the trailer.


“No one’s ever really gone,” says Luke in a voiceover. And then there’s the unmistakable cackle of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Given that Palpatine was last seen falling down a shaft into the reactor core of the Death Star, it would make sense for Rey and company to be investigating those ruins for clues, assuming Palpatine really is back.