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It is now officially October, and you know what that means: Star Wars! No, I’m not talking about a secret Star Wars Halloween Special (that I know of anyway), I’m talking about the likelihood that we’re finally getting the full trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this month. The full trailers for the previous two sequel trilogy films both dropped in October. If past is prologue, we’re due a good look at Episode IX in the coming weeks. With that in mind, there are some questions we want the full Rise of Skywalker trailer to answer.
Whereas Star Wars: The Force Awakens seemingly laid out a pretty clear path forward, Star Wars: The Last Jedi did not, so this full trailer has some work to do to tell us where the story is headed. We’ve had some intriguing hints in the first teaser trailer and the D23 special look at the film, but this full trailer should help establish what we’re in store for what we can look forward to when this movie hits in December.
To be clear, as with all movies, we don’t want the full trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to spoil us. I don’t expect or want to find out the truth about Rey’s parentage or Snoke’s identity in the full trailer for J.J. Abrams’ film. Many of the following questions probably won’t be answered explicitly, but the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker does provide an opportunity to give us a sense of things before walking in to the theater. Without further ado, here's what we hope we learn.
What’s The Status Of The Resistance?
At the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, after being decimated by the First Order, the Resistance led by General Leia seemed to number only a couple of dozen freedom fighters, all packed on to the Millennium Falcon. We know that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker picks up a year after the events of Rian Johnson’s film, but what we don’t know for sure is the status of the Resistance. Are the members just on the run trying to survive, or are they fighting back and marshaling their forces, and did Luke’s symbolic act on Crait light the spark it was supposed to?
John Boyega has said the Resistance is broken in The Rise of Skywalker, but it would be good for the full trailer to give us a sense of what that looks like. I don’t expect a full headcount, but maybe there’s a shot of a group of soldiers and a voiceover saying ‘we’re all that’s left’ or something like that. The Resistance is the heroic group in this story and knowing where they stand would help give us an idea of the odds they face.
What’s Up With Kylo And The First Order?
The full trailer for The Last Jedi showed that Kylo Ren would be conflicted and angry, smashing his helmet and faced with the responsibility to fire on his mother’s ship. Kylo Ren was largely absent from the teaser trailer for Episode IX, and we only really saw him in battle in the D23 trailer. So, the full trailer provides an opportunity to show where Kylo is at when we find him in this film. Following Snoke’s death, Kylo is now the new Supreme Leader, but how firm is his grip on the First Order? Is he unchallenged or is there discord?
There is also the question of what exactly he will be up to in this movie. We probably won’t find out what the specific MacGuffin is he's searching for, but the trailer could give us some insight into what Kylo is up to insofar as to what he’s trying to accomplish and what his end goal is. The trailer could also answer whether the Knights of Ren are on Kylo’s side or if there are now two different Dark Side factions vying for supremacy.
What’s Kylo And Rey’s Relationship Status?
Let’s be real, Kylo Ren is almost certainly going to be redeemed in this film; however, if that happens, it probably won’t come until the end, a la Vader in Return of the Jedi. Before then he will mostly be a bad guy, putting him at odds with Rey and the Resistance. Yet, Rey and Kylo have not had a traditional hero and villain relationship. Kylo has been trying to recruit Rey from the start and in The Last Jedi, these two formed a real bond, not just on an emotional level but a Force one as well.
It seems this connection will continue and deepen in The Rise of Skywalker, so hopefully the full trailer will give us an idea of where these two are at. The D23 trailer showed these two in a fierce lightsaber battle and maybe the full trailer will establish whether or not they are still seeing each other and conversing regularly or whether Rey is ignoring Ben’s Force calls. Is he still trying to woo her? I’m guessing it’s complicated, but hopefully the trailer provides some insight into the status of the relationship.
What Are The Stakes?
Star Wars has always been about the battle between good and evil, the light and the dark, and with the return of Darth Sidious, The Rise of Skywalker will likely be no different. It probably goes without saying that the fate of the galaxy far, far away is at stake in the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, but this full trailer should still set up what is being fought for in this film and what the cost of defeat will ultimately mean.
One thing the sequel trilogy has been very poor at, perhaps in response to the prequel trilogy’s criticized focus on taxes and trade federations, is establishing the status of the galaxy at large. How close is the First Order to complete and total dominance over the galaxy? A two minute and 30 second trailer won’t explain the government structure in the galaxy, but it could give fans an idea of where things stand on a macro level, thereby setting the table and conveying the stakes of this final, conclusive fight.
These are just some broad questions and I imagine we won’t get completely clear answers to all of them, but the hope is that the full trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gives us an idea of what the story is for this movie and the dynamic at play among the various characters and factions.
There are plenty of questions we don’t want to know the answers to in this trailer as well, like how exactly Emperor Palpatine is alive(?), what role Luke Skywalker will play and whether or not we’ll we'll see Anakin again; mysteries such as those are better left for the film itself. A lot is riding on The Rise of Skywalker and as the full trailer for the final film in the Skywalker Saga; here’s hoping it delivers.