The Star Wars movies may not be famous for comedy writing or funny word play, but the series' best inside joke has just been made in the teaser poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Of course, almost no fan will ever notice it.
At first glance the idea that a joke is even possible to hide in the first poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker might seem impossible. After all, the teaser poster is simply a black star field with the logo (blue colored this time) floating in space, and "December" pasted along the bottom to tease the holiday release date. But if Star Wars fans search their feelings, and stop watching the Rise of Skywalker trailer on repeat, they will discover one of the subtlest poster gags in recent memory. What better time to honor the Skywalkers than before their "rise"?
The joke comes from the fact that the Rise of Skywalker poster is basically identical in design to the teaser posters for both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. All with the same logo treatment, month, and only color to distinguish them. Until you have reason to view them in rapid succession, or in a group. Take a look at the joke for yourselves:
It may seem to some as a minor mistake in marketing precision, but no such error has been made. The title treatment for both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are placed in the identical high-middle space in the star field--down to the pixel. The same goes for the "December" across all three posters. But in The Rise of Skywalker's teaser even the naked eye can see that in keeping with its title and story, the logo treatment itself is... well, rising.
The marketing departments for blockbuster films don't usually get much credit for a sense of humor or creative vision when it comes to posters using so little to 'announce' a film. Typically used as placeholders until finished artwork can be completed for release, it made sense for both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi to stick to a shared formula--adding a sense of tradition and anticipation based only on the Star Wars brand and the inherent mystery of the next film's title. And while fans may still be wondering what The Rise of Skywalker title actually means, this exquisite bit of sure-to-be-overlooked humor may also inspire some hope.
The odds aren't good for Rey, Finn, Poe, Rose, or the rest of the Resistance heroes now that Emperor Palpatine has returned, and Luke Skywalker is no longer beside them to help save the day. But if even the poster for this final chapter in the Skywalker story can't help but rise now that Luke has become one with The Force... maybe everything will work out after all? Add the fact that the logo is slightly smaller, as if moving forward leaving the viewer behind--and the release month is now made whole as opposed to a cold wire frame--the filmmakers seem to be preparing the audience for finally watching their beloved heroes ride off into the sunset. Or whatever the space equivalent might be.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019