Of all the scenes from The Rise of Skywalker trailers that stood out, two rank among the most memorable. The first, of course, is the image of dark side Rey - something that may or may not be a sign of the protagonist of the sequel trilogy changing colors. And the second is the imposing image of hundreds of Star Destroyers lined up in the sky while an ominous bolt of lightning flashes in the background.
Inevitably, such a big scene has set the internet alight. We now take a look at 10 theories about the Star Destroyer scene and what it may mean when the movie releases later this year.
10 Kylo Ren Wants Them
There’s a lot of talk that the final chapter of the Skywalker saga will center on a mysterious wayfinder device that Kylo Ren uses to hunt his target. Given he’s now Supreme Leader it seems likely that he’d want the Star Destroyers to boost the First Order’s chances of crushing the Resistance.
Kylo’s grandfather, Darth Vader, had his own army during his time as the Empire’s mad dog. It seems only natural that Ben Solo would want that for himself to carry out his villainous schemes. Either that or they belong to a different villain.
9 They Belong To Palpatine
One thing that suggests the Star Destroyers will not be answering to Kylo Ren is the fact that they’re of Imperial design. Specifically, they resemble the imposing ships that did the Empire’s bidding during Emperor Palpatine's galactic reign.
With Palpatine coming back it seems perfectly feasible that it will be him controlling them. We know the Sith Lord is returning in one form or another, and mounting evidence suggests he’ll be the big villain of the blockbuster. Having his own powerful fleet sounds like something he’d be keen on.
8 Snoke Didn't Know About Them
Supreme Leader Snoke ruled the First Order and, therefore, had control of the entire universe prior to his premature death at the hands of Kylo Ren. Given we’re only seeing these Star Destroyers now, it seems logical that Snoke was unaware of their existence.
He was obsessed with preventing Luke Skywalker, and later Rey, from damaging the operation he was running. If he knew about the Star Destroyers, no doubt they would have been used to attack the Resistance during The Last Jedi when their stragglers were battling to survive. Unless it was another oversight on his behalf?
7 They’ll Be Led By Pryde
There will be several new characters in The Rise of Skywalker. While Zori Bliss (Keri Russell) and a slug named Claude seem intriguing, it’s General Pryde (Richard E. Grant) who seems primed to play the biggest role of them all.
Other than Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren, General Hux came across as the most villainous member of the First Order but that may change. If Palpatine is indeed behind the Star Destroyer fleet, he’d no doubt want somebody ruthless and experienced to lead it. Pryde could be his choice, becoming what Grand Mofff Tarkin was during the original trilogy.
6 They Will Be Hosting Sith Troopers
The announcement that Sith Troopers would appear in The Rise of Skywalker suggests that Emperor Palpatine is involved or behind everything. With their red armor and unwavering loyalty, we’re sure they’ll have some big moments when the movie releases.
Since we’ve never seen them, before it’s possible that they could be hidden away on the fleet, waiting for their time to emerge from the shadows. The one thing that complicates this theory is the fact that their helmets are of First Order, rather than Imperial design. Nevertheless, this could be how they’ve managed to evade discovery for all these years.
5 They’ve Been In The Unknown Regions
One of the hottest rumors about the Sith Troopers is that they hid in the Unknown Regions to avoid detection or destruction by either the Rebels. Now that it seems plausible that they're linked to the Imperial Star Destroyers, this theory could ring true.
Palpatine was obsessed with the area. Canon material detailed of how he sensed something dark there (Supreme Leader Snoke) and had many outposts there, hiding sensitive information. What if, therefore, he uses the area to hide them? What if he also used the Unknown Regions as the perfect place to plot a return to unlimited power?
4 They’re Inactive In The Footage
Before we theorize the Star Destroyers' origins and what they may hold, it’s worth pointing out that they look inactive. Sure, they look super scary, but they also look like they're just sitting still rather than being in the midst of a space dogfight.
But just because they’re inactive doesn’t mean they’re uninhabited. Maybe they require somebody travelling onto the main ship in the army to activate the rest of the fleet and the Sith Troopers that they may or not be holding. Or maybe they’ll only pop into life once Emperor Palpatine himself returns to the fray...
3 Palpatine Is Creating The Force Storm
Much has been said of the Star Destroyers rather than what’s going on behind them. It would be foolish to overlook the spectacular Force storm that appears to be brewing in the background as the ships intimidatingly lie dormant, awaiting orders.
There have been rumors that Palpatine will use the Dark Side of the Force to create a storm that makes even America’s worst tornado and hurricanes look trivial. Of all the villains in the Star Wars universe with the power to achieve such a feat, Palpatine seems like the only one capable of doing it.
2 They Will Dwarf The Resistance’s Army
We’re not buying it Disney, sorry. There’s a clip just before the Star Destroyers that shows the Resistance in battle formation, ready to attack. This seemingly implies that they’ll be going head-to-head with the First Order.
But the weather in both shots is different and we think that’s just clever misdirection on Disney’s part. They love using footage to trick fans and we don’t think this is when the two forces collide. Despite that, we expect the Star Destroyers to significantly outnumber the Resistance’s resources. Particularly given how depleted they were at the end of The Last Jedi.
1 They Will All Be Destroyed
Look at those spectacular Star Destroyers while you can because we’re pretty sure none of them will be left when The Rise of Skywalker ends. There’s no chance Disney will allow this trilogy to end with the bad guys winning and, with this being the final installment of the Skywalker Saga, there should be no loose ends.
A rogue Star Destroyer would only spark talk of more episodes to come rather a conclusive finale. It's almost inevitable that the Resistance will get rid of every single one of these deadly ships and bring peace to the galaxy once again.