Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker makes no bones about its intentions to conclude the saga began in 1977’s Star Wars. Featuring images hearkening back to that film and on-screen text recalling the Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace teaser from twenty years ago, it is trying round out the experience of Star Wars while giving Sequel Series characters like Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Poe (Oscar Issac) a new fight.
Of course, the fight has a familiar face as Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) returns once more to challenge her. But he appears to be a representative of a greater evil with a very familiar laugh. Have the Knights of Ren been a Sith plot all along with Sheev Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) pulling the strings? He’s quite adept at that.
As Luke (Mark Hamill) says in the teaser, no one is ever gone, which suggests to us the Emperor’s death in Return of the Jedi was about as final as Obi-Wan’s (Alec Guinness). Just from a different point of view. But Luke’s statement also rings true for old friends like Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), the late Carrie Fisher — who returns via deleted material from the previous two Saga films — and even locations like the desert planet featured in the teaser and what appears to be Yavin IV in one shot. Will director J.J. Abrams be able to finish the story he began in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and conclude the whole Saga in a satisfactory manner? We’ll have to wait until Christmas to find out.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20th.