Let’s not beat around the bush. Here’s the Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker D23 trailer. Watch it with your eyes.
Rarely, if ever, is a trailer so tailored for established fans of a franchise. And that’s great! This is the final installment of a saga that has been developing since 1977. If anyone isn’t a fan at this point, they’re never going to be. There’s no other market to be tapped into. More than perhaps any other blockbuster franchise-film ever, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is designed to give longtime fans everything they want.
Again: Not a criticism. It’s just an unavoidable fact. The Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker D23 trailer revealed lots of provocative imagery, including a clash between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) on the ruins of the Death Star, and an all-too-brief glimpse of Dark Rey, sporting a tasteful hooded cloak and an absurdly cool-looking flip-open double-bladed RED lightsaber.
This is the kind of trailer that has YouTubers breaking down in tears. That’s partly because it’s cynical. It takes aging stars — Mark Hamill! Carrie Fisher! Billy Dee Williams! — and off-boil fan theories and gives them new life. Hamill returns after having died in The Last Jedi, presumably as a Force Ghost; Carrie Fisher returns despite having actually died, through old footage shot for The Force Awakens. Star Wars is subverting the real world to immortalize those whose stories might have otherwise ended. That’s its power. And it’s cool-looking.
That last bit isn’t a flippant remark. Check Twitter right now. The biggest talking point from the Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker D23 trailer is Dark Rey snapping open that lightsaber. Why? Because it looks cool. Almost all of the best Star Wars ideas have that just-because quality. If it looks good, it’s in. And so it should be.
The film will be released on December 20th. In the meantime, take a look at the poster below, and let us know in the comments what you thought about the new trailer.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.