Star Wars, Episode IX (Full Trailer)
Regular readers of this site will recall that I am, regrettably, not the Sequel Trilogy’s biggest fan, a position I have held since I was first greatly underwhelmed by The Force Awakens. And since Snark Wars is primarily about repeatedly screaming at the Internet about how much I love Star Wars, even when it is very stupid, I’ve largely kept my distance from ST-era content. God knows the market for “Random Idiot With a Blog Nerd-Raging About the Star Wars Sequels” is fucking saturated as it is (though in fairness, my nerd rage is far, far gentler than most of what’s out there.)
That said, if there’s one thing we all know to be true about me, it is that I am utterly hopeless and will show up for Star Wars no matter what, so, despite my misgivings, I am absolutely 100% happily going to see Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker Which Is Definitely The End of The Saga We Swear. Upon seeing all the way over-the-top hype for the recently-released trailer (like, they ran ADS for what is A LITERAL ADVERTISEMENT, guys, LOL WE ARE ALL SO PATHETIC) I thought it would be funny to meet the outsized buzz for a 2-minute-and-37-second ad with a full-blown, needlessly long Snark Wars recap of it. I promise to leave my angrier snark in a locked drawer, and I also promise to pretend that I have not read literally every possible maybe-spoiler about this movie already, so no potential spoiler content lies ahead.
So! Where did we last leave the ever-expanding cast of the Skywalker Saga (“Finding New Ways to Ruin Civilization for Over 40 Years”)? Let’s take a look:
- Luke Skywalker, Very Crabby Old Man/Green Milk Fan, had grown out a full-blown depression beard, stalked around Planet Ireland grumpily while shirking his Jedi Master Duties, and at one point whole-ass blamed part of the universe/The Jedi Order’s problems on Obi-Wan Kenobi for having trained Anakin. Look, I know it was the depression talking and all, but HOW DARE YOU, Luke. That said, blaming Obi-Wan for something bad that a Skywalker did is entirely on brand for this family, so, fine. At this point Obi-Wan’s ghost probably doesn’t even notice it anymore. Luke had then followed up this whole “everything sucks and I’m going to bed” show with A) committing arson with Yoda’s ghost, and B) having a late in the game Change of Heart, which culminated in C) dying after livestreaming himself across the galaxy in order to taunt his idiot nephew. I can’t say I thought this was going to happen to Luke, or, y’know, ANYONE, because it is insane, but also I’ve been around Star Wars long enough to no longer be surprised by anything.
- Leia Organa, Yelling Aficionado/Better Than You, had spent some of our last outing in a coma after using the Force to literally fly through space at one point. The Skytwins have been through some stuff, you guys. Eventually after beating the whole “coma” thing, she wound up hunkering down in a cave with the last 5 people left in the Definitely-Not-The-Rebel-Alliance-It’s-Called-The-Resistance-It’s-Different, lamenting that her allies across the galaxy weren’t heeding her call for help, and also that the universe saddled her with the world’s worst son.
- Supreme Leader Snoke, Definitely Is Going to Get Explained At Some Point For Sure They Absolutely Have a Plan and Everything, drew the “hyped villain who goes down relatively easy” card, dying at Kylo Ren’s hand after a showdown in the galaxy’s ugliest throne room. This means he also drew the “hitched his wagon to a dumbass Darksider Skywalker’s star” card, which as we know often does not pan out well for anybody. On the bright side for Snoke and his hilarious gold lamé ensemble, he died after getting cut in half, so you can pretty much assume he’s not actually dead.
- Rey, Last Name Pending (God End My Suffering), spent the entire last movie basically trying to forcibly yank Luke out of his depressive episode so she could learn how to be a Jedi, while being repeatedly contacted through Force Skype by Kylo Ren. I love that Force Skype is a thing, and I hope Anakin did it to Obi-Wan constantly because that seems like the sort of obnoxious thing he’d do. At one point she and Kylo touch hands, which I’ve heard I am supposed to have a lot of feelings about, which I personally do not one way or the other. At any rate this whole Force-bonding thing led to her feeling compassion for Kylo, because Luke evidently sensed some sort of Major Darkness in him once and maybe tried to kill him, and also everyone got all bent out of shape just because Kylo killed a bunch of people including his own dad. (Let no one wonder about Kylo’s genetics, then, since “I, a repeat murderer, am the real victim here” is pretty much the most Anakin thing ever.) Ultimately, our girl Rey rejected Kylo’s offer to rule the galaxy with him, and she made it back to the Resistance Gathering in time to help them all escape and pose for the cast photo at the end of the movie. She also stole a bunch of old books about the Jedi from Planet Ireland. (I already feel bad for her, because you know that like 50% of those books are just gossip about Jedi who lived 5,000 years ago or stacks of unpaid electrical bills.)
- Poe Dameron, Winner of This Trilogy’s Obi-Wan Kenobi Award For Best Hair/Leia Organa’s Better Son, crank-called the First Order and got into a tiff with Amilyn Holdo while Leia was in a coma that culminated in him briefly attempting a mutiny and to be honest it’s been a little bit since I watched the movie so I’m kinda fuzzy on all the details. He looked handsome as hell, though, I remember that, and he is now one of the 5 remaining not-Rebels left.
- Finn, Winner of This Trilogy’s Obi-Wan Kenobi Award For Good-Hearted Person Who Deserves None of This/Winner of This Trilogy’s Obi-Wan Kenobi Award For Being Everyone’s Boyfriend, ended up on a wild goose, er, bantha chase of a mission with Rose Tico to the casino planet of Canto Bight, which I thought looked kind of cool and apparently I am one of like, 7 people in this fandom that felt this way. (It’s something I’m used to at this point, honestly.) They ended up getting double-crossed on this mission, and Finn wound up in a showdown with Captain Phasma, who I was 100% sure died in the last movie so naturally she was, of course, not dead. I am assured she died in this battle with Finn. (Sure.) At any rate, Finn is now also one of the 5 not-Rebels left.
- Rose Tico, Saga Newcomer/Finn Fanclub Member, looked (and was) cute as hell, tragically lost her sister, went on the aforementioned ill-fated mission with Finn, and had Angsty Feelings about the 1% and also about Space Horses, as one does. For reasons that remain mildly confusing and annoying to me, Star Wars decided we needed a love quadrilateral (…?) of sorts to occur with one movie left to go, so at one point towards the end of the episode she kissed Finn, too, although I can completely understand why a person would want to kiss John Boyega, so maybe it’s not that confusing. She, too, is one of our 5 not-Rebels.
- Kylo Ren, The Only Person Who Has Ever Wanted to Be Darth Vader (Including Actual Darth Vader), attempted a Shirtless Scene of his own (with mixed results if you ask me, but I’m probably not the best person to ask here,) (THOSE HORRIBLE PANTS GOD WHY) (sorry I’ll move on now), called Rey on the Force Phone repeatedly, pouted, complained, killed his boss, got rejected by Rey and then yelled at Hux, which in fairness is always funny and I’d have been fine with the entire movie just being those two hating each other, probably because “bratty Skywalker bickering with a pompous British redhead” is one of the only things I care about in this world.
THERE ARE TOO MANY GODDAMN PEOPLE IN THIS STUPID SERIES NOW, OK? I know I didn’t even get to everyone, but WE’RE DONE NOW, because this is maybe the longest preamble I have ever written on this site and this is a RECAP OF A TRAILER. Seriously.
Recurring Theme: Always On the Move
The trailer opens with Rey tearing through a jungle landscape. I feel like this girl has spent half the trilogy sprinting.
She’s using her lightsaber — the one that got destroyed in the last movie — to deflect blaster bolts as she runs. I am DYING, you guys, because I just realized ANAKIN’S LIGHTSABER IS YET ANOTHER CHARACTER THAT WE SAW DIE WHO WASN’T ACTUALLY DEAD. No one’s ever really gone indeed.
Recurring Theme: Probable Misdirection
She keeps going, and we start in with the Dramatic Trailer Voiceovers: Finn kicks things off by saying “…it’s an instinct…a feeling…” as we transition to Rey flinging herself into some wreckage:
Finn appears on the screen, looking off into the distance with concern as his voiceover continues that “…the Force brought us together“:
Look, I would be SO DOWN for Force-sensitive Finn you guys. SO DOWN. I already hate JJ Abrams for putting this out there because I don’t trust him to deliver on this, and yet STILL I HOPE.
Recurring Theme: The Gang’s All Here
Now Poe takes the voiceover mic, and we cut to a shot that I feel like we have seen some version of literally 2 million times: why, it’s a ragtag group of Rebels on their way to Band Together Against All Odds!
Poe says “We’re not alone…good people will fight if we lead them“, and we cut to a shot of Rose looking Very Concerned Indeed, while Billie Lourd and Merry the Hobbit look on:
I sincerely love how 99% of all trailers, but especially fantasy-genre ones with Epic Tales to Tell like this one, are almost exclusively always just shots of people looking at something with a Meaningful Glance:
The boys turn: ah! Ships! Ships are coming! Many, MANY SHIPS, as it turns out, but we’ll get there.
Rey takes the mic now: People keep telling her they know her! But — DUN DUN DUUUUN! — no one does. Oooooooooh.
Naturally this is Kylo “Let Me Butt In” Ren’s cue to not only make a Skywalker-Style Patented Dramatic Idiot Entrance, but also to be like but what about meeeeee? He totally knows her! STOP TRYING TO MAKE THIS ABOUT YOU, KYLO. LET THE WOMAN MONOLOGUE.
I’m surprised he was willing to go out in the rain and ruin his hairstyle like this. Also, his ridiculous Pouty Face is cracking me up.
Then it’s pew-pew-pew! We’re off to the North Pole, or something!
This Is What I Deserve
LOL. OK, so, I don’t know what I am going to think of this movie, or this trilogy as a result of it, but know one thing: the fact that Sidious is back is the best thing that has ever happened to me, like, marriage and the birth of my children excepted. IT IS FUCKING HYSTERICAL, and it KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER. I first saw the teaser for this movie (and therefore learned they were bringing him back) at Celebration this year, and we were in the main room for it. It was THE funniest moment I have EVER HAD as a Star Wars fan. I made this face of total shock for a split second, and then I laughed so hard I cried. A woman sitting near us handed me a tissue because she thought I was overcome with touchy emotional feelings about it, when in reality I was crying because STAR WARS IS THE FUNNIEST THING EVER AND THEY LITERALLY BROUGHT YET ANOTHER PERSON BACK FROM THE DEAD, AGAIN. I didn’t have the heart to be like “oh I’m not moved, I’m just unable to cope with how ridiculous this all is and it’s giving me life”, in part because there were people around me who were moved to tears by the teaser.
ANYWAYS. Sheev. Sheev Palpatine. Darth Sidious. My villainous FOREVER FAVE, played to perfection by Ian McDiarmid, is back. And. AND! He has THE MOST AMAZEBALLS SET EVER LOOK AT THIS FUCKING THRONE:
I can’t. I CANNOT. The mist! The spikes! WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING HERE.
Sheev commandeers the voiceover now AS WELL HE SHOULD, HE SHOULD DELIVER ALL VOICEOVERS EVEN WHEN IT MAKES NO SENSE FOR HIM TO, and delivers the wonderfully silly “Long have I waited…”
As he speaks, we cut to a shot of…a LOT of ships, several of which may be ones we’ve seen before (the Ghost!):
I am not nearly a thorough enough Star Wars nerd to even pretend that I know (or care, really) about spaceship types. It amazes me when people are like “oh yeah, that’s an R-class Mega Ship Thinger with an extended cabin and the limited-edition pin-striping that was in the background of one episode of TCW in season 3” (which is, of course, total bullshit I just made up, but is basically how all of that discussion always sounds to me. I am very happy for the Ship Geeks who flipped their shit about this shot yesterday though! There is nothing I love more in this world than nerds having fun.)
What is most entertaining to me about this shot is knowing that they’re bringing back a bunch of old jalopies, so the Rebellion is basically stuck working with the equivalent of a used car lot, while Team Sheev is showing up with the like 40 billion pristine-looking Star Destroyers we saw in the last trailer.
Recurring Theme: My Ridiculously Circuitous Plan Is One-Quarter Complete
Sidious goes on: “…your coming together…” as we get a super cute shot of part of the gang on board the Falcon:
…and then we cut to Kylo and Rey duking it out, as Sheev ominously adds “…is your undoing.“
I really hope everything that has happened in the saga so far is only like 8% of Sidious’ overall plan. I mean if the guy intends to live forever, maybe it’s true! He’s got plenty of time on his hands to keep fucking with the galaxy, right?
Recurring Theme: C-3PO, Just Wanted to Be a Goddamn Robot Butler and Now It’s All This
We now cut to this super cute little alien guy, who’s doing something to the back of Threepio’s head. This poor droid, you guys. He’s supposed to be translating Bocce or helping with water vaporators or serving fruitcake at Padme’s dinner parties or whatever, and yet he keeps getting pulled into space battles and whatever this bullshit is. He wasn’t wrong: he WAS made to suffer.
Poe asks: what are you doing there, Threepio? And I would like to point out that I am glad Rey is finally getting a gigantically oversized coat she can dramatically discard later.
Threepio replies: he’s taking one last look at his friends! Oh! Well, I’m sure nobody is going to have feelings during this bit!
Giant Floating Words of Marketing appear now to inform us that all of this is going down THIS CHRISTMAS…
…as Luke wrestles the mic from Sheev to Wise-Old-Manly tell us that “Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi” as we watch Rey and Leia hug:
The Giant Marketing Words shout at us that THE SAGA WILL END, which is obviously bullshit because at this point I fully expect to be recapping Skywalker saga trailers from my nursing home, and Luke says “Your destiny…” as we first see some people riding a different flavor of Space Horse on what appears to be a spaceship…
…Kylo and Rey smashing some sort of Vader Relic… (And the Giant Words yell at us that THE STORY LIVES FOREVER, which sounds about right.)
…some space battle stuff…
…and we see Rey standing in front of presumably Sidious, since we are lucky enough to hear some evil cackling:
Finally, we cut to a close-up shot of Rey as Luke says “The Force will be with you…“
…and Leia says “…always.” (Awww!)
And then — baaaa, baaaa, buh-buh-buh BAAAAAAAA-BAAA, buh-buh-buh BAAAAAAA-BAAA, BUH-BUH-BUH BAAAAAAAAAAA, you know the drill:
Evidently this motion picture is in theaters December 20th, and tickets — I’ve got mine — are on sale now! Don’t pretend, nerds, you know you’ll be there. I’ll save you some popcorn. See you on the other side!