‘Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker’ is finally here

The year 2019 will be earmarked in the annals of history books as a landmark year for film. It is the year when streaming took over the cinema-going experience and one where two mega franchises came to an end. Marvel’s ‘Infinity’ saga and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars ‘Skywalker’ saga.

All eyes were trained on J.J. Abrams after the release of Star Wars Chapter VII. And after months of anticipation, director J.J. Abrams, Disney, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy finally unveiled the film’s trailer during a panel at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.

Chapter VII was also directed by Abrams and was called ‘The Force Awakens’. Chapter VIII ‘The Last Jedi’ was directed by Rian Johnson. And now that title of the last and final Chapter, Chapter IX has been unveiled. ‘The Rise of Skywalker’. It too shall be directed by Abrams.

“I feel like we’ve gotten to a place — without jinxing anything or sounding more confident than I deserve to be — I feel like we’re in a place where we might have something incredibly special,” Abrams said. “So I feel relief being home [at Bad Robot], and I feel gratitude that I got to do it. And more than anything, I’m excited about what I think we might have.”

Trailer breakdown: Key Takeaways

Chapter VIII of the Star Wars was hands-down, bar-none the most divisive movie of the Star Wars franchise. And maybe in film history. Fans either loved Rian Johnson’s take on the Star Wars franchise or hated it with the fury of a thousand scorched suns. Personally, I loved it.

Now that Chapter IX finally has a title: The Rise of Skywalker and a trailer, I really wish that December could be here sooner. The ninth installment has been directed by J.J. Abrams, who also directed the seventh movie. But that was not the plan. Initially, the ninth movie was to be directed by Colin Trevorrow who then left the project due to creative differences. Or so Disney claims. What really happened may just be a tale for the history books.

But more on that later. Now, let’s break down the trailer. Spoiler alert: Luke Skywalker is dead. And Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) is dead in real life. Keep that in mind as I break it all down for you.

The trailer opens with the voice of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) as he communicates with Rey (Daisy Ridley) who is also a Jedi. That maybe means Rey can talk to Luke. “We have passed on all we know, a thousand generations live in you now,” Skywalker says in his voiceover. “But this is your fight.”

Rey then brandishes a blue lightsaber as a TIE Silencer rushes towards her. And if you recall the last two movies, you know that it belongs to Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – Leia and Han Solo’s son and Darth Vader’s grandson. But it may or may not be him in the cockpit of the ship because we do not get to see the pilot’s face.

But Kylo’s in the movie. He is seen repairing his helmet and in an intense fight sequence. Little else is known about him. And about his and Rey’s thing: Well I think for that we’ll just have to wait for the movie to know more.

Other quick takeaways: a laughing older Lando Calrissian on the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca; Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) in the desert; BB-8 with cute new droid Dio. There is also a small but pivotal scene that shows Rey embracing Leia; and what look to be remnants of a destroyed Death Star battle station. Underwater. Maybe that holds the key to destroying the Dark Side once and for all. All conjecture but one can only hope.

But then comes a blast from the past that every Star Wars fan will recognise. The iconic cackle of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Darth Sidious was last seen in The Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader threw him to his death.

Maybe what Skywalker says in the trailer: “No one’s ever really gone,” may hold true for everyone who can harness the Force. People of the Dark Side too.

Chapter IX: What we know so far

The directorial reins of the movie were handed to J.J. Abrams after Colin Trevorrow had to exit the project. Abrams confirmed that he finished all shooting for the film in February and now is editing the film and adding visual effects to it. And he is doing so at the Bad Robot studio in California. Abrams and his wife are the owners of the Bad Robot production house.

The title, first teaser trailer and more details were revealed as director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and cast members took the stage to deliver delicious hints about the movie.

“This movie, it’s about this new generation, and what they’ve inherited, the light and the dark,” Abrams said, seeming to reference Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Issac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

Abrams noted that the new film will not take place immediately after The Last Jedi — some time has passed — but that Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa will be a part of the story as previously confirmed.

“You don’t recast that part and you don’t have her disappear,” Abrams said, noting that the team found a way to work with her even though she’s no longer with us. “What if we could write scenes around her,” the director said, regarding the process of finding a way to include Leia in the film.

The movie is set to release in December 2019 effectively bringing the Star Wars’ ‘Skywalker’ sage to a close. But Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said that the Star Wars universe is too diverse to have just one story come out of it. Two spin offs have already been released. The Han Solo movie and Rogue One. She has also announced that another trilogy under the leadership of Rian Johnson is to be created soon.

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