As promised, Disney released the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Monday night. The emotional footage is packed with gravitas, as it promises the end of the Skywalker saga as we know it. After all, the J.J. Abrams film is not just meant to conclude the trilogy that began with 2015's The Force Awakens, but the entire movie series. For that reason, Episode IX's final trailer hints at an epic film that will bring some sort of finality to a story that began in 1977. The Resistance is fighting against the First Order, the Emperor is back and Luke Skywalker's legacy lives on in Rey. But what is perhaps the trailer's most gut-wrenching moment comes when a long-running mainstay hints his time might be coming to an end -- and it's something we never even considered.
Yes, in the trailer, fan-favorite protocol droid C-3PO appears to hint at his coming demise... and our hearts are nowhere near ready to say goodbye.
The final The Rise of Skywalker trailer offers a mix of hope and despair. It's bittersweet in its presentation of this long-awaited final chapter, and it heavily implies its finality. Perhaps this is why the scene where C-3PO bidding a possible farewell to his friends is a heartbreaking affair. As a new alien friend can be seen plugging the protocol droid into a larger machine, Poe Dameron asks C-3P0 what he is doing. And, with BB-8 and D-0 both looking somber, the golden droid answers, "Taking one last look sir... at my friends." This, coupled with John Williams' hard-hitting score, strongly suggests that C-3PO is sacrificing himself to save the Poe, Finn, Rey and the Resistance.
Of course, for the time being, there is no way to know what C-3PO is planning to do to help his friends, but it's possible it's connected to the mysterious shot of the droid sporting red eyes first seen in the film's previous trailer. Certain theories would have us believe the droid would turn evil, but this could always be part of the answer. Perhaps he is going undercover, knowing full well that there will be no going back.
Whatever the reason, the trailer only hints at the death of C-3PO, and it's enough to dismantle our hearts. Somehow, it's something we had never considered happening. But, in retrospect, it makes a lot of sense. After all, C-3PO is the one character who has been in all nine main Star Wars films. In The Phantom Menace, the start of the story chronologically, he was first turned online. Therefore, if the character was created in Episode I, then would make sense to have him die in Episode IX. It's not something that we would ever want to see happen, but it would certainly bring things full circle.
J.J. Abrams' final film is the conclusion of the Skywalker saga, and C-3PO has been closely tied to this story from the moment of his creation. If anything, this makes the protocol droid the linchpin of the entire saga -- one fans of all ages will have a difficult time saying goodbye to.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, with Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams. The film arrives on Dec. 20. Advance tickets are available now.