It’s been a week since Lucasfilm released the teaser and title of Episode IX at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago with a panel consisting of a majority of the cast, producer Kathleen Kennedy and director, J.J. Abrams.
Not too long ago I wrote an article regarding trailers and what I think are some of the best that have graced our eyeballs which included the trailer for The Force Awakens (the third and final trailer). Any new Star Wars trailer is met with a fever pitch that few franchises can meet or match save for perhaps fellow Disney alumni Marvel (with the impending release of their epic Avengers: Endgame) and anything to do with new Star Wars releases is met with an anticipation like no other.
Or at least it was.
Some Star Wars fans may have felt burnt of late with their own thoughts or feelings towards the franchise after Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Again, I addressed my thoughts on Solo and it’s perceived failure here previously while other members of Film ‘89 have expressed their rather passionate thoughts on The Last Jedi, and it now transpires that Lucasfilm are cooling the release of any new films for an undisclosed period given the amount that have been released in the last four years and taking the opportunity for some reflection (that isn’t stopping development of pre-existing projects such as the Rian Johnson trilogy or the Game Of Thrones team’s steps into the Star Wars universe). The reactions to the two most recent Star Wars films has changed how Lucasfilm are now dealing with Star Wars in a film capacity going forward, so for the time being, we have Episode IX coming this December and that will be the last we see of Star Wars on the big screen for the time being.
So to the teaser trailer.
In my humble opinion it’s one of the greatest trailers ever released. If ever two minutes and three seconds could enrapture fans to near tears it’s this.
I’ll not do a breakdown of every shot because as trailers tend to do of late, red herrings could well have been put in to distract or mis-direct as in previous releases in the franchise (Leia being handed Luke’s lightsaber in The Force Awakens, Jin facing off against a TIE Fighter in Rogue One).
The opening with Rey Vs. a TIE Silencer is breathtaking. The build up of her breathing, rushed initially to calm by the moment Luke is speaking in voice over to the scream of the approaching spaceship to the ignition, throb and swish of the lightsaber (surely one of the coolest sounds ever) to Rey’s slow-motion flip over the ship is Lucasfilm and Disney saying “You’re definitely coming to see this.”.
There’s glimpses of the cast (LANDO!), medals from the ceremony at the end of Star Wars, Leia (whose theme has been adapted to the trailer to add even more emotional heft alongside new music from John Williams), downed Death Star’s (the second one I believe from Return Of The Jedi) to a black screen and a sinister, imperious laugh to the reveal of the film’s title.
Now I’m not yet completely sold on The Rise Of Skywalker as it raises further questions to what is meant to be the end of the Skywalker saga. Interpretation as to this has been pored over and theories thought but for me it does indeed mean we’ll be seeing more of our new heroes in an ongoing saga.
Trailer releases are now an art form of its own, and Star Wars has set a template again as to how to do it effectively. Yes, it already had an audience that was never going to stay away but it’s now possibly reinvested the naysayers back into the fold and got us all feverish with anticipation at how it’s all going to end.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released December 20th 2019.