The biggest movie of the year has finally released its first teaser trailer, and if you’re not doing a backflip just like Rey does in the first seconds of the trailer, it’s only because you physically can’t. The new footage from Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is not just thrilling, it’s comforting. This feels like Star Wars. This feels safe. So even if you can’t flip, your inner child is no doubt doing backflips for you … On trampoline shaped like the Death Star.
Part of the reason why the new trailer is so great is because of some subtle, deep-cut references to existing Star Wars stuff. These easter eggs range from the super-geeky to the nostalgically profound. Here are the nine most important — or interesting — things to take away from this trailer.
Rey’s borrowed Skywalker lightsaber is back in one piece
In The Last Jedi, the famous Skywalker family lightsaber was split in half and seemingly destroyed. But, in the first moments of this trailer, Rey is clearly using it. During the panel at Star Wars celebration, actress Daisy Ridley implied this wasn’t the entire story, but that the lightsaber “lives.”
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Leia’s musical theme plays as Rey does a flip worthy of Luke Skywalker
As Rey leaps into the air, ’80s kids will be reminded of Luke Skywalker pulling a similar leap in the opening moments of Return of the Jedi. This moment is made even more sentimental because as she flips, the musical motif of “Leia’s Theme,” plays.
Kylo’s helmet is reforged
Here’s another thing that was broken in The Last Jedi that seems to be being pieced back-together: Kylo Ren’s helmet. In the trailer we see Adam Driver helmetless as Kylo Ren, spinning his lightsaber around like the deadly badass that he is. So, is Kylo the person who is reforging the helmet? Or is it someone else?
A Desert planet? (Tatooine or Jakku?)
A lot of the action in the trailer takes place on in the desert. This means pretty much one of two things. Either the movie takes us back to Tatooine — home to Anakin and Luke Skywalker — or this is a callback to where Rey grew up, the desert planet of Jakku in The Force Awakens.
Leia holds a medal from Star Wars: A New Hope
In easily the most emotional scene of the trailer, we see someone (presumably Leia) holding one of the medals given to Luke and Han at the end of the original Star Wars. It stands to reason this is the medal Leia gave to Han Solo, which is just heartbreaking as hell.
Poe, Finn, and Rey are all flying a skiff very reminiscent of the same kind of vehicle stolen by Luke and the gang in Return of the Jedi.
An old Death Star? A new Death Star?
In one scene, Rey, Poe, and Finn seem to be looking at a mechanical crater of some kind. Are they seeing wreckage from an old version of the Death Star? Or is this a new Death Star super laser being constructed?
The Emperor’s laugh
When Luke Skywalker says “no one is ever really gone,” we hear the laugh of Emperor Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious. Obviously, this heavily implies the Emperor will somehow have come back to life for the events of The Rise of Skywalker. In fairness, if you read comic books in the ’90s, you know this has happened before. In the 1991 Dark Horse mini-series, Dark Empire, the Emperor brought himself back to life with a series of young, creepy looking clones.
The Title Implies There Is Another Skywalker
Famously, this is the first Star Wars movie to have “Skywalker” in the title, which is ironic only because this film will end the Skywalker story. So, what does this mean? Is Rey really related to the Skywalkers after all? Will Kyo Ren (I.E. Ben Solo/Ben Skywalker) turn back to the good side of the Force or, is the Skywalker referenced in the title something else?
All will be answered on December 20, 2019, when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally hits theaters.