Hot on the heels on Saturday’s extended teaser for “The Mandalorian” TV series, attendees at Disney’s D23 conference were treated, if that’s the word, to a new look at December’s “Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.”
Here it is:
Called the “D23 Special Look,” the teaser-trailer opens with a montage from the original trilogy, which I must admit buried the needle of my nostalgia meter. Then it cuts to a similar sequence from the prequel trilogies, which maybe brought up somewhat less pleasant memories. The final clips before the new material comes in are from the unloved Episode VIII, which is ironic given that the most important thing IX must accomplish is to come up with some plot devices that effectively flush “The Last Jedi” down the memory hole.
From there we get glimpses of heroes in hero poses, and what looks like a mothballed Imperial fleet so big it makes you wonder why they ever bothered to build a Death Star. There’s a giant red death laser reminiscent of the Starkiller Base from Episode VII, and of course many quick clips of Rey and Darth Emo — – er, Kylo Ren — brandishing lightsabers, sometimes at one another.
Every passing moment, I understand Luke Skywalker's decision to stop shaving, sever all communication, run into the wilderness and hide under a pile of rocks for the rest of his life more and more.#StarWars #RiseOfSkywalker #StarWarsIX
— Sassy General Hux (@SassyGeneralHux) August 26, 2019
Then we’re treated to… well… I’m not sure what to make of it.
We hear the instantly recognizable voice Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. Which is not surprising, since they also gave him a line in the first teaser a couple of months ago. But also it is surprising since he’s been dead since the final act of “Return of the Jedi” in 1983. On top of that, we also get Darth Vader’s famous ventilator noises. Is Vader, too, back from the dead? And is it really fair to make a ghost wear a walking iron lung? Will the recently deceased Luke Skywalker come back to do battle, once more, with his still-departed father and Dead Sidious? And if Episode VIII was really all just a dream, does bringing back all these dead people make “Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” a dream, too?
Inquiring minds are… maybe looking for an old Star Trek rerun to watch on Netflix.
Most controversial of all is a glimpse of what appears to be Evil Rey. I’m not sure if the controversy is because she looks all mean and Sith-y, or because she’s brandishing a remarkably silly double lightsaber with an opening effect like a giant butterfly knife. A giant butterfly knife made out of frickin laser beams. Somebody is going to get hurt with that thing, and it’s probably the user.
— 〽️ikelle ⚡️tormborn (@mikellevirey) August 26, 2019
My fear is that director J.J. Abrams, stuck with trying to escape from the steaming pile that was Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi,” has resorted to time travel/multiverse/alternate realities or some other very non-Star Wars-type science fiction trope. My colleague and fellow nerd Tyler O’Neil believes Evil Rey might be nothing more than a premonition, like Luke’s dark experience in the Dagobah cave from “The Empire Strikes Back”… and we can only hope Tyler is right.
This poster, though, really makes you think he’s wrong.
The teaser ends with the tagline, “The story of a generation comes to an end.”
The burned cynic in me hopes this is true. Please, please, please let it end. The eight-year-old kid in me is just dying for a few more Star Wars movies that don’t suck. This D23 preview makes me think my inner eight-year-old is about to become a burned cynic.
Have you watched it yet? What did you think?