The Prophecy And in time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as : THE SON OF THE SUN. And he shall bring Balance to the Force. "Journal of the Whills, 3:12"
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Episode IX Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer is here ! 30th April 2019
On Friday 12th of April, at the beginning of the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, the Episode IX title and teaser trailer were revealed !
This exciting and tantalising teaser trailer naturally raises several questions, and, for me, a few concerns. The heart-felt embrase between Leia and a tearful Rey is a little incongruous if only because it's between a General and a young Jedi student who have known each other for about only a year ; like the embrace at the end of The Force Awakens, this implies much more, and I once again return to my hope that it will be revealed that Rey is indeed Leia's daughter, or at least some person of lineage. Already it feels odd if they are simply just two friends hugging.
We had already heard that Kylo's helmet would have been repaired. This alone seems strange since we had last seen it in literally smithereens on the floor of an elevator of a vast starship that was about to be split in two. Putting that aside, I admit I'm torn over whether the helmet should be re-used as an indication that Kylo has reverted back to the Dark Side and descended further, or if there should be further character development in the sense that as the evil villain he now does not need the mask - as noted by his master, Snoke - or if he should move towards the Light, and be free of such a mask. Obviously, the trailer shows no indication for timeframe, and it may be that Kylo wears the helmet early on, and, if redeemed, removes the mask at a later point. But if the helmet is a visual clue of the character's 'fall' then why not craft a new helmet for a new identity ? Certainly from a visual story-telling point of view, I would have thought the production team would have taken this opportunity to evolve further the physical and emotional appearance of the primary villain ?
Although guess-work on my part, I'm assuming that Billy Dee Williams' Lando has been brought back in following Carrie Fisher's untimely death. Our understanding of the Sequel Trilogy was that VII was Han Solo's film, VIII was Luke Skywalker's film, and IX was to have been Leia Skywalker-Solo's film ; partly for the plotting and partly to utilise the 'OT' heroes as they 'hand over' the baton to the next generation. Time will tell if he has a significant role, or a 'minor cameo', but I'm obviously hoping for the former and that his is not just a 'token' part.
We see what appears to be a broken shell of the Death Star in the ocean. Is this Endor ? Is this Yavin 4, known as Massassi ? My modern common-sensical brain would tell me that either world would surely be severely damaged if not destroyed if either planet/moon had been struck by such a large body ; I could accept that the presence of the gas giant Yavin could have 'sucked' the DS1 into it and away from Massassi, but presumably Endor would not have had such a saving guardian. Personally, I'd hope for this being the remains of a Death Star prototype, and be a new and original twist on an old - and potentially 'tired' - idea. However, we know from conceptual work for The Force Awakens that the hero was to have explored a (partially) sunken Second Death Star searching for something valuable, possibly something that belonged to Palpatine ; so it seems reasonable to expect this old idea to be re-used in some way. I've recently had the thought that, on the back of Rogue One setting up the idea that Kyber Crystals were utilised to power the Death Star superlaser, and Rey presumably needing new crystals for new lightsabre handles for herself or new students, it may be that the 'treasure' they are seeking are the remaining Kyber Crystals ; however, this begs the in-lore question of why there aren't any other naturally occuring crystals in the galaxy - in other words, in-lore places like Illum - or why Rey can't divine her own. Did the Empire ransack and mine all known crystal sources ?
The cackle at the end belongs of course to Palpatine, so now we wonder how he is to be brought back in to the story, following his 'obvious' demise on the DS2. Is he real, or is he a Force Ghost ? Interestingly, in my virtual edition Episode IX I had Leia journey into the Netherworld and to its 'Hell', where she confronted both Sidious and Plagueis. By late april, fansite MSW may have unearthed the details of this character's re-appearance, which I shall note further down.
And then we have the title, Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. Does this refer literally to Rey or Ben Solo, or even to Luke re-appearing ?? Alternatively, could we be seeing - for some reason, possibly on the back of the 'broom-boy' scene at the end of The Last Jedi - that members of what we would know as 'The Jedi Order' will be called 'Skywalkers' ? Ever since discovering a line of dialogue from a TESB draft from Yoda saying"Skywalker, Skywalker, why do you walk my sky ?", I've always liked the idea that the name could have a more significant meaning.
Also revealed at the Chicago Celebration was a 'Behind-the-Scenes' trailer for the first live-action TV show, 'The Mandalorian'. Only available to the audience, unsurprisingly a copy from the screen made it out....
By the end of the month, fansite MSW had been able to provide some significant rumour reports on Episode IX :
It may be that as Rey and Kylo duel the Force 'transplants' them around the galaxy to familiar locations, or 'presents' such locations behind them ;
Han might be seen as part of a flashback or Force vision ;
Possible ape-like creature involved in repairing Kylo's helmet, and some sort of ritual associated with this ;
Possibly a MAJOR plot reveal outlining two particular actors being possessed by a certain character, resulting in a worthy and noble sacrifice.
The illustrated virtual editionEpisode VII : Plague of Doom continues ! Upon hearing of the Imperials' operation on Kessel and the imprisonment of Alana Seren, Luke proposes a plan of rescue and disruption. Han spots the two fallen stormtroopers nearby, and suggests they have some ready-made uniforms they could use !
By the end of April I had been able to complete a 'Third Draft' for a story outline for the virtual edition Episode X. I passed this on to VE fan Dave, who had praised my VE Episode IX a few months ago. He was similarly impressed, and enjoyed the drama, but provided me with some valuable feedback.... but he really appreciated the "B movie" style of the title... Virtual Edition Episode X : The Riddle of the Pirates !