It feels so bizarre to say, but we’re less than a month away from the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Not just the end of the new Star Wars sequel trilogy, but the end of all nine episodic films. Is it just us, or does it feel like The Force Awakens just came out? How on earth is this legendary saga already at the finish line?
We were worried for a bit that the marketing for The Rise of Skywalker was a little lighter this time around, but it turns out the folks at Disney and Lucasfilm were just waiting for the holiday season to pummel us with goodies. We’ve already gotten one official TV spot, and now we have two more, both loaded with brand-new footage from the upcoming film.
In this first one, we see new bits, like Poe telling Chewie to take his lead, Kylo Ren putting on his reforged helmet, and—most shockingly—Rey slashing Kylo in the chest with her lightsaber in the Emperor’s throne room in the sunken Death Star 2.
We’ve already seen bits of this moment between Rey and Kylo, in the final theatrical trailer for the film, but we weren’t sure what was going on. Is this where their fight atop the Death Star’s remains begins? Or maybe it’s where it ends, with Rey delivering a final, crucial blow. Slowed down, it’s hard to tell if she actually makes contact with his chest, although it’s definitely a close call either way. This partially mirrors her duel with him in The Force Awakens, when she sliced his face and gave him his trademark scar.
Another new TV spot shows our trio of heroes—Finn, Poe, and Rey—all yelling for each other and for Chewie. What’s happened to Chewie? Nothing bad, we hope! We’re not ready to lose any more classic original trilogy characters.
This spot also contains a bit of J.J. Abrams’ snappy humor. We see Rey perform a Jedi mind trick on a pair of Stormtroopers. (Is one of them played by Ed Sheeran, who we know cameos as a First Order baddie in this film?) “It’s OK that we’re here,” she says, and a Stormtrooper repeats it back to her—another nice callback to The Force Awakens, and even to Obi-Wan’s similar line in A New Hope. “Does she do that to us?” Poe asks Finn. It’s a good question!
This duo of TV spots really show off all the fun that J.J. Abrams had making this film. If it’s anything like The Force Awakens, we can expect plenty of humor mixed with melancholy and nostalgia. That’s Abrams’ style in a nutshell, and we can’t imagine a better approach to take for the ending of a beloved nine-part film saga. Will he deliver, or will The Rise of Skywalker be a major disappointment? It’s too early to tell, but the confidence on display here hints at a winner.
We’ll find out together when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20.