The Star Wars 9 trailer is finally here, and it even brought a proper title. Welcome to Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker, the conclusion of the trilogy of trilogies that looks like it will bring back a familiar foe. Or rather, it sounds like it – listen to the end before you read on.
You back? Yep, that was definitely the laughter of Emperor Palpatine at the end – confirmed all the more by the surprise appearance of Ian McDiarmid at the Star Wars Celebration 2019 (opens in new tab) trailer reveal panel. After Snoke’s surprise death at the end of the last film, you couldn’t ask for a better archnemesis to take his place. The big question is how Palpatine will return after his whole “being thrown into a pit by Darth Vader” ordeal.
We’ll have to wait until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in December to find out more for sure, but so far it seems like Palpatine could return in one of two ways: either he’s a clone, which would perhaps hew a bit too close to the endless clone ridiculousness of the old extended universe (giving rise to both Luuke and Luuuke Skywalker), or he is a Force spirit. So far we’ve only seen Jedi like Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi return as blue-tinged apparitions, but if any Sith was able to figure out how to make their evil presence linger after their death, it would be Palpatine.
While the first half of the trailer was all about Rey gearing up for an on-foot clash with a speeding TIE fighter, the second half teased all kinds of development: there was Kylo Ren’s mask being reassambled, our first look at Leia’s continued presence (thanks to previously unused footage) (opens in new tab), Lando and Chewie back in the Millenium Falcon, and what looked an awful lot like some Death Star wreckage. We’ve got a look to look forward to.
Make sure you read up on more of the new Star Wars movies (opens in new tab) on the way.