We got three different looks at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker through trailers. Let’s take a look at each three and rank them.
A teaser trailer, special look at D23, and a final trailer aired during Monday Night Football have been released for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We loved them all, but of course we still have our favorites. Let’s rank each of the trailers.
#3. D23 Special Look
The D23 trailer is the lowest ranked of the trailers as it contained the least new footage and the fun of it was somewhat ruined for most fans before they got to see it. Except for those lucky enough to see it when originally aired at D23, most fans heard about “dark Rey” before the footage was released to the public, which made the trailer a bit underwhelming and anticlimactic to watch.
The scenes included from the other Skywalker Saga are wonderful as always to behold and seamlessly edited together, yet it’s hard to truly appreciate them when the audience’s focus is on seeing the new footage.
Yet, it’s beautiful to see all the interconnected scenes throughout the films and how they’ve paved the way for this pivotal final chapter.
Even though it was already discussed ad nauseam on the Internet before most people actually got to see it, “dark Rey” was still mind-blowing to see. The new material was limited, but C-3PO’s red eyes, the Imperial Fleet, and the first look at Rey and Kylo Ren clashing lightsabers atop the watery Death Star ruins are enough to still make it a good trailer, albeit the weakest of the batch.
#2. The Final Trailer
C-3PO’s line “Taking one last look, sir . . . At my friends” is the emotional center of the trailer and arguably of the film’s marketing campaign, a line that in-universe and for the fans speaks volumes as powerfully as Han Solo saying “Chewie, we’re home” in the trailer for The Force Awakens.
This final trailer feels the most cohesive. While there are outstanding individual moments in the others, audiences finally got to see many of the pieces coming together to form the story that will conclude the Skywalker saga.
This feels most true when it comes to the tale of the Resistance. From Lando surrounded by Resistance pilots, to the Millennium Falcon and possibly the Ghost alongside every other ship you could imagine, and Finn and Jannah leading the charge atop Orbaks, the Resistance feels stronger and more united than ever before.
This feeling is furthered by the sight of the main protagonists together on a mission, and finally seeing Rose in a trailer, not to mention Lieutenant Connix and the new Resistance character played by Dominic Monaghan. John Williams’ uplifting music and all these shots solidify that the Resistance has become what Leia knew it could be and that it can win the fight.
There are also an abundance of intriguing moments between Rey and Kylo Ren in this trailer. Their relationship and its unexpected development is largely the heart of the sequel trilogy and will largely define the end of the Skywalker saga.
It’s not our favorite trailer as its biggest moments are built off things we already knew, though. The Imperial Star Destroyer rising from the ice is stunning to see, but we already saw a shot of an Imperial Fleet making an unexpected appearance.
Palpatine’s dialogue and the thrones associated with it are ominous and tantalizing, but it doesn’t provide much more insight into Palpatine’s return, which we’ve known was happening since the teaser in April. Some of the most intriguing antagonistic characters like General Hux, Allegiant General Pryde, and the Knights of Ren are also entirely absent from the trailer.
#1. The Teaser Trailer
The teaser trailer takes the No. 1 spot as it was the most rewarding and revealing of all the trailers. After roughly a year and a half of speculation, the teaser finally whetted fans’ appetites with brand-new footage, a hint at the story to come, and even the title of the film.
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This was where fans heard Emperor Palpatine’s chilling laugh and realized the iconic villain would be returning in a significant, albeit mysterious role. This was where fans first saw Rey and company approaching ruins of the second Death Star. Any doubts about the film using established footage of Carrie Fisher disappeared with the shot of Leia.
In contrast to Palpatine’s laugh, the sound of Lando’s laugh was heartwarming, as was the sight of him grinning and stylish as ever while piloting the Millennium Falcon alongside Chewbacca.
Rumors of C-3PO having a bigger role were validated by him appearing in so many different scenes, as were the return of the Skywalker lightsaber and Kylo Ren’s helmet. Those looking for epic showdowns were in for a treat as well with Rey sprinting toward and leaping over the TIE Fighter, lightsaber in hand.
To top it all off, this trailer began the same way the teaser trailers did for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The teaser trailers for all three films began with heavy, anxious breathing from a protagonist. For The Force Awakens it was Finn breathing heavily after waking up from the TIE Fighter crash on Jakku, for The Last Jedi it was Rey breathing heavily during her training on Ahch-To. It might seem like a small and insignificant detail, but Rey breathing heavily at the start of The Rise of Skywalker teaser completes the pattern for the entire trilogy, showing a level of intentional connectivity that largely defines Star Wars and George Lucas’s belief about how they’re like poetry.
At the end of the day, all The Rise of Skywalker trailers are awesome, and we will be re-watching them frequently until the film releases.