Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker official toy packaging gives fans their best look at Kylo Ren's repaired helmet. At long last, Lucasfilm finally peeled back part of the curtain on Episode IX, which was the subject of its own panel during Celebration Chicago. Along with confirming the film's title, the teaser trailer surprisingly revealed Emperor Palpatine is returning for the final chapter in the Skywalker saga, making him the link that binds the three trilogies together.
Of course, there was much else in the trailer to analyze besides Sheev's cackling laugh. One shot in particular that attracted a lot of attention was Kylo Ren's fractured helmet (which he shattered in The Last Jedi) being welded back together by a mysterious individual with a furry hand. It was first reported late last year the mask would come back in Episode IX, and now it's going to be a prominent feature of the movie's marketing campaign.
Yesterday, following the Rise of Skywalker panel, Lucasfilm officially revealed the film's toy packaging, which contains an illustration of Kylo wielding his trademark lightsaber and presumably reaching out with the Force. Celebration attendees can get their picture taken in a life-sized replica of the box. Check out the image of it in the space below:
The re-emergence of Kylo Ren's helmet is already proving to be a point of contention in the early days of Rise of Skywalker discourse. Some fans see it as J.J. Abrams retconning character development from The Last Jedi, but going back to the masked look might make sense for Kylo. Remember, it was Supreme Leader Snoke who ridiculed the helmet, and odds are Kylo chose to destroy it in an attempt to appease his former master. After murdering Snoke, Kylo fixing the helmet may be a further rejection of the old Supreme Leader's teachings. It's also worth pointing out that for someone who told Rey to "let the past die," Ben Solo has a difficult time of following that mantra. Not only is his image molded after Darth Vader, he allowed himself to get distracted by Luke's Force projection, derailing what would have likely been a successful assault on the Resistance base.
Kylo was seen in the trailer sans helmet, so he's clearly not going to wear it for the entire movie. Surely, more details about the mask will be unveiled in the coming months, hopefully shedding light on why Abrams and company went in this direction. Regardless, it'd be best for viewers to wait for the final film before rushing to any judgment. It seems silly now, but there was an uproar over Kylo's lightsaber design when the original Force Awakens teaser trailer debuted in November 2014. After seeing it in action, most fans were onboard with it. Ideally, that'll be the case again when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019