The beginning of the end of Star Wars is upon us: Lucasfilm has released the final trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker, the last installment of the current trilogy.
And just in case you have forgotten that it’s the end, the trailer sets up the goodbye. It opens with Rey adventuring solo and then cuts to her found family — Poe, Finn, Chewbacca — as they gather up for their one last fight against Kylo Ren and the apparent return of archvillain Emperor Palpatine. Rey and Ren have a few duels, and a giant spaceship onslaught appears, perhaps as the Resistance’s last stand.
But the most emotional moment of the trailer belongs to C-3PO. Poe asks the android why he looks so down and what he’s doing.
“Taking one last look sir,” 3PO responds. “At my friends.”
The Rise of Skywalker won’t pick up immediately after the events of 2017’s The Last Jedi, but how much time has passed is unclear. We don’t know what has unfolded on the characters’ disparate journeys since then or how their paths will all come together.
One big thread left unanswered: “Dark Rey,” whom we saw fleetingly during the footage shown at D23. Does this suggest that Rey, the trilogy’s protagonist and hero, has gone to the Dark Side?
This latest trailer builds on this question slightly. We see Rey holding a blue lightsaber, with Carrie Fisher’s voiceover promising that the Force will be with her “always.”
Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Rise of Skywalker concludes the trilogy that began with 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens and continued with Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi. Abrams, who also directed The Force Awakens, took over The Rise of Skywalker after Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow walked away from the film in 2017 over “creative differences.”
With the final trailer here, there are 60 days between now and the end.
The Rise of Skywalker will arrive in theaters on December 20, 2019.