Not only does the preview gift fans several Easter eggs and ominous teases, but the new sneak peek might reveal some solid plots points to expect in the final part of the space saga’s trilogy of trilogies.
Here are the nine biggest moments to look out for in the new trailer…
1. Is C-3PO going to die?
One of the standout moments in the trailer comes courtesy of C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), the droid appearing to sacrifice himself to the Rebel Resistance cause. Seemingly being hacked by a tiny alien technician named Babu Frik, Threepio halts a second to take “one last look at my friends.”
While this hints it’s game over for the galaxy’s favourite golden robo-man, we also have a good idea what happens to him: in previous trailers we’ve seen a red-eyed C-3PO, a sign that the droid has been hacked.
Why would the resistance need to take over a Human Cyborg Relations bot? What mission do they have in store for him? Judging by Threepio’s final sign-off, it’s one he doesn’t expect to return from.
2. Hoth has competition
The sneak peek of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker features plenty of shots of a mysterious new ice planet. And we might have a good idea of what it’s called: Kijimi. Not only is the “frigid mountainous” world mentioned in recent Star Wars canon novels, but Disney has made clear Babu Frik is also from the planet.
It’s also apparently the home planet of the mysterious Zorii Bliss, the helmet-sporting character (played by Keri Russell) seen standing by Rey (Daisy Ridley), BB-8 and Poe (Oscar Isaac) as C-3PO is hacked.
Guessing from the trailer, Kijimi could also be home to a serious imperial presence, with TIE fighters and star destroyers flying over its surface.
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3. The second Death Star, part two
Thankfully it’s not a fully operational battle station, though. During the trailer we see Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) locking lightsabers on what looks like the remains of the fallen imperial base.
And, judging by the shot of a wrecked throne room, this is the remains of the second Death Star – the one that blew up in Return of the Jedi. This moment also indicates that the ocean-filled world is Endor (either the Ewok-filled moon or the planet of the same name).
4. The Emperor returns
As teased in previous trailers, Ian McDiarmid’s evil Emperor AKA Darth Sidious is set to make a comeback to the space saga. And although we don’t see his face (which may indicate he’s only some sort of Sith Ghost), we do see the back of a hooded figure moving with the help of a mysterious machine.
We might also have a hint of Sidious’ evil plan after hearing him say: “Long have I waited. And now your coming together is your undoing.” Doesn’t it sound as if the Emperor has been scheming something for decades – maybe even since The Phantom Menace? Did he actually plan to get defeated by Darth Vader all those years ago? Was he banking on Kylo Ren and Rey teaming up?
5. Game of Thrones
In the trailer we also glimpse an ominous stone throne surrounded by spikes. Who does it belong to? Our bet: The Emperor. Not only does it look suitably evil, but the chair looks very similar to concept art produced for Return of the Jedi.
6. Wild wild space horses
Bad news if you couldn’t stand the Canto Bight stampede in The Last Jedi: Finn and co. are in the saddle again in the Rise of Skywalker. However, rather than riding Fathiers, they appear to be sitting on a new species of tusked horse. And they’re doing it on the hull of a Star Destroyer. As you do.
How and why we’ve got no idea, but we can say Naomi Ackie’s mysterious character Jannah looks brilliantly badass bolting into battle in this shot.
7. Lando is back in the fight
While we hear the voice of Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker (“Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi. Your destiny”), we also see Carrie Fisher’s Leia brought back to screen using unused footage from previous episodes.
The trailer also treats us to a little look of Lando Calrissian, portrayed once again by Billy Dee Williams. Although the preview gives no clue where he was during the past two films, older Lando looks in the midst of the Resistance, a force much larger than the tiny group of survivors left at the end of The Last Jedi.
8. Revealed himself, Dominic Monaghan has
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment, the Lord of the Rings actor makes his first Star Wars appearance, seen behind Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran). This spot doesn’t give much away about his yet-to-be-named character, but looks as if Monaghan will be fighting alongside the Resistance.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Monaghan and director JJ Abrams have collaborated, the two working together on Lost.
9. Vaders of the Lost Ark
In perhaps the most intriguing shot of the trailer, we see Kylo and Rey pulverising a pillar holding Darth Vader’s battered helmet. At first, it seems like the pair have destroyed the pedestal while attempting to slay each other, but a few things reveal themselves with a second look.
Firstly: it’s clear both are working together to destroy this strange Sith shrine. Also, note that Rey is carrying what appears like a ceremonial dagger in her left hand. Is this all some mysterious force ritual? Is it part of their plan to defeat the Emperor?
Much to ponder, there is.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is slated for UK cinema release on the 19th December