There's a bewildering scene in the teaser trailer in which someone is seen soldering Kylo Ren's old mask back together. While we don't necessarily see who it is, many are assuming it's Ren himself, which would be a major step backward. The Last Jedi saw him reject the mantle he was given by Supreme Leader Snoke in order to forge his own path and embrace his own destiny. If he's going back to sniffing Darth Vader's busted helmet, it would ignore his character arc up until now.
On top of that, Disney did the absolutely unthinkable, and brought back Emperor Palpatine in some unknown role. Yes, that's his laughter at the end of the trailer. Sheev Palpatine, who has been dead since the '80s, is now somehow alive. Sure, Abrams probably needed someone for everyone to fight against, but bringing back that guy seems like an incredibly boring decision. It feels like this was either pulled right out of an Expanded Universe novel or lifted from someone's fanfic. It feels like sad, derivative schlock.
What's next? Will Darth Maul make an appearance, because he was alive in Solo? Are we going to get a scene where General Grievous is reassembled? Star Wars movies were better than this.
Satiating the Trolls
I hate to feel this cynical about a franchise I once found so much joy in, but the trolls who hated The Last Jedi for being too progressive have honestly ruined Star Wars for me. And the sad thing is that, those fans, the same ones who harassed Kelly Marie Tran off social media and "boycotted" the franchise, have actually won.
If you want to see the proof, just watch the trailer. Disney wants people to be happy, so if people are upset online about a Star Wars movie, you better believe the company is going to do whatever it takes to fix things. Calling the movie The Rise of Skywalker was absolutely a plot to make those unhappy fans come back into the fold. Not only is it an absolutely terrible title (like Avengers: Endgame) but it's one that brings up very specific images to longtime fans, and that was on purpose.
Disney wants you to think Rey might actually be Luke's kid after all. It wants you to believe Luke's legacy will be saved in some way that matters, and, apparently, that Rose Tico won't be in the film, as she was absent from the trailer.
Instead, we get Lando, a cackling Palpatine, and some speech from Luke about how we (read: Star Wars) have been here alongside you all along, so let's just erase all the bad things you didn't like. The whole trailer is that one Simpsons gif.
Johnson's movie made a lot of promises about the direction of the franchise that Disney seems unwilling to make good on, and naming the final movie The Rise of Skywalker only encapsulates that. It would seem that, despite the message of The Last Jedi, the past is still very much alive, and Disney has your childhood hooked up on life support.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives December 20.