Disney finally dropped the hotly anticipated final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, during the Patriots vs. Jets game on Monday Night Football. It's the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy produced, co-written, and directed by J.J. Abrams, following The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017). Disney's timing is extra special, because today was also the late Carrie Fisher's birthday, and this film was her final role. (Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, plays Lieutenant Connix, a resistance officer, in the new trilogy.)
Disney has been holding their cards pretty close to their chest when it comes to details about The Rise of Skywalker, but we do know it is set one year after the events of The Last Jedi. The few surviving remnants of the Resistance will be facing the First Order once again, and the "ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith" will reach its climax.
We got our first teaser back in April, at the annual Star Wars Celebration event. It gave us a few Millennium Falcon flights and some desert-speeder combat, plus a brief glimpse of Princess Leia, thanks to footage shot in 2016 before Carrie Fisher's untimely death. It closed with the new trilogy main cast members staring at the wreckage of a Death Star, followed by the sound of Emperor Palpatine's evil laughter (even though he's supposed to be dead). We also learned that BB-8 has a new robotic buddy—a one-wheeled junk-heap character named Dio.
A second teaser screened at Disney's D23 Expo in August opened with a montage of scenes from the original trilogy, then more recent Star Wars films, set to a haunting variation on John Williams' score. Then came roughly 30 seconds of new footage, beginning with Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, and C-3PO on a desert planet. Rey follows in Luke's footsteps with a bit of Jedi training on Endor, and then locks light sabers with Kylo Ren on a stormy seaside. There's a brief shot of C-3PO with glowing red eyes, sparking speculation as to whether there might be a bit of reprogramming in store for our favorite protocol droid. And fans are still puzzling over the final shot, which seems to show Rey in Sith regalia.