Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has gotten a new (and, frankly, weirdly designed) IMAX poster. With just three weeks to go before it reaches theaters, Disney is stepping up its marketing for the conclusion to both the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the larger Skywalker Saga. Several The Rise of Skywalker trailers, TV spots, and featurettes have released over the last few days alone, and even more are sure to come ahead of the movie's world premiere in mid-December. Meanwhile, its cast and crew are keeping busy making the round on the weekly late night talk show circuit.
Of course, just because it's ramping things up, that doesn't mean Disney is abandoning its spoiler-averse approach to promoting The Rise of Skywalker. For better or worse, the various images and videos unveiled so far have all been carefully constructed to avoid revealing anything (emphasis on anything) in the way of actual information about the film's plot. That trend continues with the latest one-sheet - a piece of artwork that's more confusing than anything else.
IMAX unveiled its poster for The Rise of Skywalker today, and it naturally puts the spotlight on four key characters in the film: Rey (Daisy Ridley), Leia (Carrie Fisher), Luke (Mark Hamill), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). The poster's layout, on the other hand, is noticeably ungainly, as you can see for yourselves in the space below.
To be fair, you can see what this IMAX poster is going for. Rey, being both one of the Star Wars sequel trilogy's leads and its main protagonist, is at the center of this artwork, with her mentors Leia and Luke flanking her sides. Likewise, it makes sense to include Kylo Ren here, seeing as his conflict with Rey and the Skywalkers (his mother and uncle, to be exact) lies at the heart of not only The Rise of Skywalker, but the two films leading up to it (The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi). Unfortunately, he and Luke's faces (and necks) are awkwardly melded together here, presumably in an attempt to emphasize the connection between them. Again, it's a decent idea, but the final result looks rather odd all the same.
Setting that aside - it will be fascinating to see how The Rise of Skywalker ultimately brings these characters' stories to an end. The film only had eight minutes of previously-unseen footage of the late Fisher to use for her scenes, so Leia's role will presumably be fairly limited. That goes double for Hamill, who's only expected to appear (briefly) as a Force Ghost after Luke became one with the Force near the very end of The Last Jedi. Fittingly, then, the bulk of The Rise of Skywalker ought to end up focusing on the sequel trilogy's leads, especially as Rey and Kylo Ren gear up for their final showdown with one another, even as the Resistance and First Order go head-to-head in war. With a little luck, the payoff will be worth all the buildup in the end.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019