The final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been released, but it's a disappointing tease for J.J. Abrams' Sequel Trilogy closer. Abrams' return to a galaxy far, far away sees him directing and co-writing (alongside Chris Terrio) Star Wars 9, which is the last installment of the nine-movie Skywalker Saga.
Before now, fans had been given two different trailers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker; the first trailer arrived at Star Wars Celebration in April, and was then followed by a D23 teaser in August. In keeping with the same marketing strategy deployed for both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, October and Monday Night Football has brought the ostensible final trailer, although there'll undoubtedly be a number of smaller teasers and TV spots before the December 20, 2019 release date.
In typical Abrams fashion, the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer gives very little away, but what it does - or doesn't - show isn't enough to generate much further excitement for the movie. Here's why.
Rise Of Skywalker's Final Trailer Is The Weakest One
Of the three trailers released so far for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final one is easily the weakest of the bunch. The first teaser was about sending a message, after the backlash to The Last Jedi and the failure of Solo, that Star Wars was in safe hands again, which it did successfully, and caused a wave of excitement with the shocking reveal of Emperor Palpatine's return. The D23 footage took things a little further, peeling back just enough new layers, and again giving fans a stunning reveal: a seemingly dark side version of Rey, wielding a double-bladed red lightsaber, but also a glimpse of an epic lightsaber duel, and a suddenly-emerging fleet of Star Destroyers.
By contrast, the final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker doesn't offer up the same level of excitement. There's nothing in here to match the previous reveals, but even within the realms of giving little away, this fails to reach the heights not only of Star Wars 9's campaign, but the entire Sequel Trilogy. The trailers for The Force Awakens were particularly great in showing just enough without giving big things away, and providing you with a feel for the movie.
This trailer goes heavy on throwing some nice, familiar images at the screen, but not in a way that is particularly cohesive or thrilling. nor all that emotive. The C-3PO bit, for instance, is obviously supposed to land heavily, but aside from some very poor editing in that cut to R2-D2, it's also undercut by the fact that, well, we've seen little to suggest most of these people really are Threepio's friends. Rather than emphasizing its strengths, this trailer actually highlights some of the Sequel Trilogy's weaknesses.
The Final Trailer Doesn't Show Anything Fans Didn't Already Know
Spinning off from this being the weakest trailer for The Rise of Skywalker is the issue that the final trailer doesn't show us anything new. All of the shots in here, while some of them look visually impressive, contain elements that have long been established for the movie. Palpatine's return, Darth Vader's mask, the Star Destroyer fleet, the Death Star - these are all elements that fans already knew about, so the latest Star Wars 9 trailer is just telling and showing us the same things.
This new trailer builds on some of those things, but it's only somewhat developing further ideas fans were already excited about, rather than offering up something different. Like the Force, it's all about balance when it comes to trailers, between not giving too much away and still giving up enough for people - both Star Wars die hards and, more importantly, mainstream audiences - to get really excited over.
The new trailer for The Rise of Skywalker doesn't achieve it, although it might depend on what you 'want' from it. If you don't desire to see anything new and want as fresh an experience as possible going in, but also don't want to or can't avoid the trailer for whatever reason, then this might work. But if you're after something a little more substantial, it doesn't. What's the big talking point here? What's the new or unexpected element to go crazy over? Star Wars trailers have long offered those things without spoiling anything - hell, The Force Awakens' marketing was a masterclass in doing so - but that's not the case here.
The Rise Of Skywalker's Story Is Still A Mystery
Even after the final trailer, there's still so much we don't know about The Rise of Skywalker's story. Sure, there are the vague basics - it ends the Skywalker Saga, Palpatine returns, the Resistance and the First Order have one last, climactic battle - but they're all broad strokes and, in two of the cases, were obvious before even seeing a single bit of footage. The new Star Wars 9 trailer doesn't much advance the story, which is either good or bad from a certain point-of-view.
There is something to be said for keeping things a secret, especially when so many movie trailers can give far too much away too soon, and in particular if you already know you're going to see the movie, then the rest is just dressing. But at the same time, the point of a trailer is to sell the movie to as large an audience as possible, and with that in mind you have to wonder what exactly is being sold here. There are lots of different images, we see Rey and Kylo briefly working together to destroy the mask, which is cool, but also another glimpse of their fight (which we already know from the last trailer), and little else as to what this movie is - or at least, what this trailer wants us to think the movie is. It's too focused on secrecy and obfuscation, rather than showing bits of the film. All it really offers up in this regard is a simple "Hey, it's Star Wars!"
A great movie trailer should give you tantalizing hints of the story, provide a real sense of the emotion or tone of the film, and some general direction for where the characters are headed, alongside some awesome shots destined to be gif'd. It's the end of the Sequel Trilogy and the end of the Skywalker Saga, but there's not much to evoke either feeling in the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019