The Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Trailer Is Here, And It Just Revealed A Major Character Return

The end of an era is almost upon us. The Star Wars franchise is wrapping up the Skywalker Saga later with year with the release of Episode IX. Well, after all this time waiting, and straight out of Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, we finally have our first trailer for Episode IX, or as it’s officially known, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. As if that wasn’t a big enough deal, it revealed that Emperor Palpatine, a.k.a. Darth Sidious, is back. Check it out!

There’s a lot to absorb from our first look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but let’s fast forward to the end, right before the title card. Visually, there’s just a black screen, but that’s accompanied by a very familiar noise: Emperor Palpatine’s laugh. That’s right, nearly 40 years after we watched Palpatine die in Return of the Jedi and over a decade after Ian McDiarmid last played the Sith Lord on the big screen in Revenge of the Sith, he’s back!

How is he back? That’s hard to say. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi paved the way for flashbacks in Star Wars movies, so maybe we’ll look back at Palpatine during the Empire’s reign or even earlier, when he was Chancellor of the Republic. On the other hand, what if just like Jedi like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda learned to do, Palpatine somehow learned to project himself as a Force ghost? That would be awesome to see for fans, but nothing but trouble for the protagonists. Or what if clones are being broken back out, and this Palpatine is a copy of the original?

We’ll just have to wait to see how Palpatine fits into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, though knowing Disney and Lucasfilm, they’ll try to keep that a secret for as long as possible. Fortunately, there were plenty of other things to enjoy from the first The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

The preview kicks off with Rey on a desert planet (a return to Jakku or yet another sand-filled world?) drawing her lightsaber and preparing herself for something while Luke Skywalker narration and John Williams music plays. Eventually she ignites her blade and starts running from a spacecraft pursuing her: Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter, meaning you can logically guess who’s inside of it. Then, as the ship gets extremely close to Rey, she leaps backward in its direction, although the trailer cuts before we see whether she lands on top of it or not.

From there, we see a lot of cool moments, including Kylo Ren slamming an opponent (maybe a Resistance fighter) to the ground on a red-lit planet; Kylo repairing the helmet he destroyed in The Last Jedi; Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca traveling through hyperspace on the Millennium Falcon; Finn, Poe Dameron and C-3PO on a skiff avoiding blaster fire, Rey hugging Leia Organa; and the main heroes on a strange planet looking at a large structure in the distance. However, it’s probably safe to say that this Palpatine tease was the biggest surprise.

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out this year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.