Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker promises to end the battle between Jedi and Sith, with Rey and Kylo Ren's final fight gracing the movie's official poster. But the image may also confirm which side wins the fight... assuming fans are paying close enough attention.
Fans may find it difficult to speculate too deeply on this final chapter in the Skywalker saga, after audiences everywhere were completely shocked by the news that Emperor Palpatine returns in Episode 9. When the filmmakers further confirmed that Palpatine was always planned for Star Wars 9, most theories were disproven, since a final showdown between Rey, Kylo Ren, and Palpatine wasn't predicted by anybody. But the first appearance of all three on The Rise of Skywalker poster seems to have revealed more than fans will realize. Not just who will win the final fight, but what it will mean for the grinning villain, too.
The announcements and footage from D23 gave fans plenty to speculate over, and for many, the appearance of a 'dark Rey' with a red lightsaber cast serious doubt on a happy ending. But for those looking closely at The Rise of Skywalker's official poster, there is reason for more than just hope. Placed alongside the previous two posters, the victory of the light side of the Force - and the ultimate destruction of Emperor Palpatine, once and for all - are impossible to miss. First, have a look at all three posters for the new trilogy below:
The colors of the Force, the Jedi, and the Sith have been carefully highlighted and utilized throughout all the Star Wars films, but Disney (along with directors J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson) may have imbued them with even greater meaning. The division of The Force Awakens' poster - between the red of Kylo Ren's Lightsaber, and the blue of Anakin Skywalker's - effectively bisects the entire image: sending a clear idea that the ages old Jedi/Sith or light/dark battle has begun anew. The movie confirmed that impression, as did its sequel... with a much darker result.
If the decision to make Star Wars: The Last Jedi's marketing drenched in red got fans worried, the movie didn't disappoint. The red poster was, again, literally reflected in the film: Supreme Leader Snoke's red throne room, red Praetorian guards, and the red surface of Crait in its final siege. But symbolically, it signaled a tip to the First Order's favor: the slaughter of the Resistance's forces. The failure to find allies in other worlds. The ascension of Kylo Ren to the First Order's Supreme Leader. And the death of Luke Skywalker, sacrificed so the Resistance could escape from the jaws of defeat. The poster spelled disaster for the light side... but the final chapter is another story.
Now in The Rise of Skywalker's poster, Kylo Ren's lightsaber and lightning is the only red visible, struggling against a sea of blue light, driven back by Rey and her blue lightsaber. The total reverse of The Last Jedi's poster, this spread of blue across black is broken only by the grinning face of Emperor Palpatine. But comparing to the previous posters, that too seems to be in Rey's and the Resistance's favor.
The trilogy now has a trifecta of cloaked, hooded, obscured figures looming over each poster. In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren's fearsome mask wound up removed along with his zealotry, before he was defeated. In The Last Jedi, Luke returned to his Jedi form despite the poster highlighting his exiled look, before falling in heroic sacrifice. Now with The Rise of Skywalker, the face of Palpatine looms larger than any before, suggesting it's HIS expectations the film will be defying, before bringing about his downfall as well. Not to mention ending the Jedi/Sith war in the Star Wars universe for good. It's still our theory for now, but we reserve the right to say 'the posters told you so.'