The Star Wars: Episode IX teaser trailer is now available online, revealing the film's official title. Back in 2015, the Star Wars franchise triumphantly returned with The Force Awakens, the continuation of the classic Skywalker saga that received widely positive reviews and grossed more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office. Four years later, director J.J. Abrams is back to finish what he started (the sequel trilogy) as well as the Skywalker saga itself. When the film began production last summer, Lucasfilm announced it would be the final installment of this particular series.
With Abrams at the helm, most expected Episode IX to be subject to the director's infamous mystery box treatment, but even by Lucasfilm's standards, things have been extremely secretive. Though filming wrapped in mid-February, the studio had yet to unveil the official title, leading some to believe that was part of their master plan to make Celebration Chicago extra memorable. Now that the big day's finally here, the curtain's been pulled back.
Today during the Episode IX panel, Lucasfilm debuted the first teaser trailer for the movie, revealing the film's official title is The Rise of Skywalker. The studio also released a poster, which you can see in the space below:
Much like the initial previews for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, this first Rise of Skywalker trailer barely delves into the plot of the film, relying more on beautiful imagery and atmosphere to set the stage for what will surely be an extensive marketing campaign leading up to December. The footage primarily focuses on the returning characters from the previous two films, but fans do get a glimpse of BB-8's new droid friend Rio, as well as a fun shot of Lando Calrissian piloting the Millennium Falcon alongside Chewbacca. All in all, the film looks like a suitably grand and epic conclusion to a generations-spanning saga that redefined the film industry in more ways than one. It'll surely be an emotional experience for fans.
Besides the movie's title, the biggest reveal from the trailer is unquestionably the return of Emperor Palpatine, who once again will be played by the incomparable Ian McDiarmid. The villain's comeback is most definitely a surprise, seeing that he died in Return of the Jedi and wasn't even mentioned in the prior films of the sequel trilogy. However, his inclusion makes sense. Since The Rise of Skywalker ties up the nine-movie arc, it needed to have some element that connected to the other two trilogies. Palpatine, of course, was the main baddie in the prequels and originals, so his ultimate destruction will end the Skywalker saga once and for all.