“No One’s Ever Really Gone” in the First Trailer for “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”

As the 2019 Star Wars Celebration in Chicago rolled over into the weekend, some heavily awaited-for previews were finally revealed. The most important of them obviously is the first teaser for “Star Wars: Episode IX.” Not only did fans finally see the anticipated visuals, we now know its official subtitle.

“The Rise of Skywalker” at first blush sounds somewhat clunky. But after seeing the scenes from the trailer one might think it appropriate. It seems to imply new meaning to the name “Skywalker.” Anakin was born of a Tatooine slave. Rey was born of seemingly similarly unremarkable parents. He was a Skywalker; is Rey too?

Why don’t we find out by going over the teaser?

  1. Rey (Daisy Ridley) is now dressed like a Jedi. She also apparently has repaired Anakin’s lightsaber from its ruin back in “The Last Jedi.”
  2. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) seems to talk to Rey in narration, talking about how she now has the knowledge of “a thousand generations.”
  3. “Every Generation Has a Legend.”
  4. It seems Rey is in a desert planet (Tatooine) facing down a low-flying First Order TIE Fighter. Is Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) at the controls?
  5. Rey shows how much more Jedi she is now by fearlessly jumping on the TIE with lightsaber lit.
  6. A starship arrives in another world at night.
  7. Kylo Ren doing a berserker charge against Resistance ground troops. He also is apparently repairing his helmet, similarly destroyed during “The Last Jedi.”
  8. BB-8 has its own droid companion now.
  9. With Han Solo dead, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) returns to pilot the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo).
  10. “The Saga Comes to an End.” To be specific, it’s probably the saga of a family central to the “Star Wars” narrative. The franchise itself will never be allowed to end.
  11. A chase is on the desert planet with Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac) and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) aboard a sand skiff a la “Return of the Jedi.”
  12. General Leia (Carrie Fisher) hugs Rey. This is some of deleted footage from the first two Sequel Trilogy films, edited to provide a role for Leia after the passing of her actress years ago.
  13. As Luke tells Rey that “they will always be with her and no one’s ever truly gone,” she and her friends appear to be on the forest moon of Endor, looking at fallen fragments of the Galactic Empire’s second Death Star.
  14. We hear a familiar, sinister “old guy” laugh.

Back in Star Wars Celebration itself, any ambiguousness of the voice was made certain by the appearance of the actor in question, onstage. Director J.J. Abrams also confirmed that Ian McDiarmid is back as Sheev Palpatine / Darth Sidious / Emperor.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” premieres this December 20.