The trailers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker highlight that this is the end of the Skywalker Saga, and that's a trick it learned from Avengers: Endgame. Set for release in December, Star Wars 9 isn't just bringing Disney's Sequel Trilogy to a close, but also rounding out the entire nine-movie arc that George Lucas started back in 1977.
The timelines may be different, but for Disney that makes Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker very similar to Avengers: Endgame. Aside from being the cornerstone entries in the Mouse House's two biggest franchises, they're also the 'end' of their respective series (in a sense, at least). Before Star Wars 9 ends the Skywalker Saga, Avengers: Endgame ended the Infinity Saga, and its trailers made sure to let audiences know that this was the epic conclusion.
That's something we're seeing with Star Wars now too. In the D23 trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the first-half of the teaser didn't include any new footage. Instead, it was entirely made-up for scenes from each of the previous eight movies in the saga, moving from A New Hope to The Last Jedi, and encompassing all three Star Wars trilogies. If it seems like a familiar play, it's because that's what Disney did with Avengers: Endgame.
In the official trailer for Avengers: Endgame, the first half of the trailer mixed new footage with clips from previous movies in black-and-white, including Iron Man, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Thor. The messaging was clear: that this was the end of the original Avengers team, and even though the MCU will go on beyond it, this is still the climax of these character arcs. All of the Avengers: Endgame trailers offered up a real sense of finality, which is something that then carried through in the movie itself.
It worked extremely well, as Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing movie ever, so it isn't too much of a surprise that Disney is repeating the trick with Star Wars 9. It's about paying homage to the past and showcasing just how much of a journey the characters (and indeed the fans of them) have been on through the years. That turns it into even more of a must-see experience, because like Endgame, it's being sold as the last time we're going to see the likes of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa in a Star Wars movie. It's a supremely effective tool for a teaser, because it doubles-down on the emotion of an ending, taps into nostalgia for the series, makes the film even more important, and raises the stakes. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker probably won't beat Avengers: Endgame at the box-office, but using the same trailer devices should help it all the same.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019