Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker D23 Trailer Breakdown

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The much anticipated D23 conference just finished this year and it brought some ground-breaking news about Star Wars. I wasn’t there in person, but I saw footage from The Rise of Skywalker that made me go “Wait, what?” I’m still not sure what it all means, but at least we have a bit more insight into what was shown.

Are you ready? Let’s get to it.

…at Death Star wreckage from the Teaser Trailer
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube
Rey, Poe, Finn, and Chewie coming to a market
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

The first scene of new footage gives us a shot of Rey, Poe, Finn, and Chewie as they come around a rock and see this market. This is it is EXACTLY the same shot from the first teaser trailer of these characters, along with 3PO, BB8, and DIO, in a grassy field overlooking Death Star wreckage.

Everyone looks the same! It looks they digitally changed the original scene from what they were looking at and pulled out the droids instead. I find it highly unlikely that J.J. Abrams would use the same shot composition twice in the same film.

To me, this says that at least one of these shots won’t be in the film and confirms the trailers we’ve seen contain misinformation.

Carrie Fisher’s General Leia
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

The only shot of General Leia in this teaser is in a forested area. The scene looks to be the same as what was in the last trailer of her hugging Rey. Seeing this is definitely going to be emotional as it will be the last time Carrie Fisher is on the big screen.

Resistance Starships
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

This shot tells a lot about the state of the Galaxy if you take a deep look at it. We see a ragtag group of starships, including X-Wings, Y-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings, a Corrilian Corvette (possibly the Tantive IV itself though canon material outside the films state it was destroyed) and the Millennium Falcon bathed in white light.

The way this shot is set up with the light leads the audience to believe these are the good guys. They’re on the ropes and willing to do everything they can to stop the First Order, even against insurmountable odds.

The Insurmountable Odds
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

Oh, how insurmountable the odds really are! This shot, with so many First Order Star Destroyers in light and darkness, shows what the First Order war machine really looks like. This is set right after showing the ragtag group of Resistance ships, making you think they’re facing off.

While I do think they will face off in the film, I believe they are from two different points in the film based on the scene backgrounds. Plus, with the size of Star Destroyers, this many ships should not be able to fit into a planet’s atmosphere.

Finn with Naomi Ackie’s Jannah
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

It looks like this shot coincides with the Star Destroyers based on the colors out the window and the concerned looks on their faces.

What is more interesting is that they appear to be on the Falcon. See the steering wheel with a standard Resistance pilot in the pilot’s seat? This makes me ask if this pilot was digitally added to hide who’s flying the Falcon.

But why would you hide who’s flying? If it’s Lando, why not show him? Same as Rey, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rey is on the Death Star while the ship is creating a distraction. Think Return of the Jedi’s Battle of Endor with the space battle and the ground fighting to take out the shield generator.

There are a few reasons I can see why they’d want to hide the pilot. Although, I wouldn’t hide Poe because he’s the most logical person to fly the Falcon after Rey and Lando. He is the logical choice and, if he’s not flying the Falcon, he’s most likely flying an X-Wing. The two I would hide is Luke or Kylo Ren himself.

If Luke is back on this ship in any way, Force ghost or otherwise, it’s a surprise I would save for the film. If it’s Kylo, you wouldn’t want to give away the rumored redemption ark in a passing shot where he isn’t even the focus.

Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

I don’t have a lot to say about this except: WHY DOES 3PO HAVE RED EYES!?!?!

Every other shot in both trailers he has his standard golden eyes. This one is such a change that it feels like a drastic character change which wouldn’t be a bad thing after 42 years of the character.

Another Super Laser?
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

This beam looks like the power of the Death Star with the color from Starkiller Base. I’m hoping this is a misdirection as we do not need another superweapon in the film.

Rey throws the Skywalker lightsaber
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube
Rey catches the Skywalker lightsaber
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

In these two shots, we see Rey training in a wooded area. Most likely it’s the same area where she’s hugging General Leia. I’m curious if the shot of Leia from earlier in this trailer is her watching Rey train with the lightsaber of her father and brother.

Rey is shown working with a droid, and I’m hopeful it’s the same one Luke worked with in A New Hope.

What has me asking the most questions is the stick. Is it a place holder for a different weapon? Why isn’t she holding her staff? If it’s the staff that shes carried since The Force Awakens, why hide it?

The only reason I can see to hide the weapon is if the staff has been fitted with a lightsaber emitter or if it’s a double-bladed lightsaber.

Kylo Ren lights his saber
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

This shot makes me ask some questions. The scene has him walking away from what looks to be the ship that Rey jumped over in the first trailer. The ground looks like it’s a desert planet, like the scene from the first teaser. It’s the sky that makes me wonder whats going on.

My guess is this planet is about to be destroyed from either a superweapon or the First Order’s Fleet. The color is reminiscent of the shot we had of the First Order Star Destroyers. It also reminds me of what the sky looked like when Starkiller base was fired.

Kylo appears to be headed for a final showdown with Rey.

Kylo Ren and Rey duel
Image by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

This small section of what is most likely the final duel between Kylo and Rey is very reminiscent of the battle from Revenge of the Sith between Anikin and Obi-Wan. Looking at the background, this looks like it is on the remains of the Death Star we saw in the first teaser. It looks like it’s going to be an intense sequence.

Video by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

WHAT IS THIS!?!?!?! Okay, let’s try and go slowly with this and talk about what is, by far, the biggest thing that was put in this trailer.

Rey in dark robes with a VERY unique lightsaber.

Before we talk about Rey and the lightsaber, I want to draw your attention to the background. It is reminiscent of the mirror cave she was in on Ahch-To. This, along with the line from Emperor Palpatine of “Your journey…has its end” screams that it’s a form of Force vision. Could it be a possible future where Rey joins him?

Okay, so let’s break this down by looking at a few specific frames.

Close up on Rey
Video by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

I want to start with the closeup on Rey’s face. Here you see the calm determination showing a wave of deep anger behind the eyes. I also want to draw a point to the lightsaber blades. They have the same uncontrolled structure of Kylo Ren’s, which suggests a cracked crystal.

Of course, she could have cracked the crystals during the bleeding process. It’s more likely the cracking would have come beforehand or every red saber would have these blades.

A better look at the blades
Video by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

Here we get a better look at the lightsaber. Two hilts that look nothing like we’ve seen before indicating that she would have designed it herself or found an ancient saber.

Blades in motion
Video by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

This is the best shot in that second long sequence. It shows the blades are connected with some form of hinge. This indicates that the blade could be cut right in the middle and that she could continue with one blade or one in each hand.

Final Configuration
Video by Lucasfilm Ltd via YouTube

This shot is the one that makes me go back to the training shots and ask why is she carrying just a stick. Are they hiding that she built this hilt on her own without the red blades? Or do they want us to think that it’s the point of the stick?

It’s hard to tell before we see the movie but this is, by far, the most intriguing moment in the trailer.

After looking through all of this trailer a few times I have to admit I’m hyped for this film. When we had the last trailer, it was so far away that I felt it would never get here. Especially with so many exciting movies before The Rise of Skywalker. Now, here we are, less than four months away. I cannot wait to see how the Star Wars Saga wraps up.

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