The final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out and full of details, but here's everything that they still haven't shown. From the get-go, the marketing campaign for Star Wars 9 has leaned heavily into the culminating element of the movie. Director J.J. Abrams isn't just returning to the franchise to end the trilogy he started with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but he has to wrap up the entire nine-film Skywalker Saga.
The marketing campaign for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker officially launched in April at Star Wars Celebration with the release of the first trailer. Unsurprisingly, the trailer focused heavily on Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and how they will be central to this conclusion, but it also confirmed the return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Then when some new footage was included at D23, the appearance of "Dark Rey" with a double-bladed red lightsaber raised several more questions and theories.
Now, Lucasfilm and Disney have released the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in conjunction with tickets going on sale. We've seen new trilogy characters like Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) front and center, with only quick glimpses of Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell), Jannah (Naomi Ackie), and Dominic Monaghan's Resistance character. The returns of Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) have been glimpsed, as well as what Chewbacca, C-3PO, BB-8, D-O, and R2-D2 are up to. When put together like this, it appears as though Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's trailers have been packed with information. They've certainly given fans plenty to think about, but JJ has also kept some details remaining under wraps - and they aren't small ones either.
Arguably the most significant omission from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's trailers is none other than Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). It is no secret that he's in the movie, as he was confirmed as part of the cast and featured in the Vanity Fair photoshoot, but Luke has been entirely absent from the marketing. We have heard his voice a few times during the trailers, but his physical - or rather Force Ghost - appearance has yet to be seen.
As the original Skywalker, Luke not being part of the trailers for The Rise of Skywalker is a surprising move. His appearance would undoubtedly drum up more interest, especially after his death in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Since we have yet to see him and there have been almost no details on the role Luke will play, the reason he hasn't been shown might be that how he looks or the scenes he's in are spoilers. In any case, fans will likely have to wait until December to see Luke's return for Star Wars 9.
If Luke isn't the biggest piece of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker missing from its trailers, then Sheev Palpatine would take that crown. His involvement with the story has been teased in every trailer, but it has only come through voice-over. We got his laugh at the end of the teaser, and he then had some dialogue in the D23 footage. For the final trailer, Palpatine's voice is all over it. He talks about how long he's been waiting and that "your coming together will be your undoing." Near the very end of the trailer, though, the unmistakable hood of The Emperor is glimpsed approaching Rey.
While this moment is great for confirming that Palpatine will physically appear in the movie in some form, it does not provide us with an actual look at him. So, The Emperor has still yet to be seen in the trailers either. To this point, the only visual appearance he's made was on a recent poster, but the poster used a toy version of Palpatine instead of McDiarmid. It is possible that Abrams and the Disney marketing team just want to preserve the first look at a returned Palpatine for the theaters, but protecting spoilers is also a possibility.
Knights of Ren
It is also surprising to see the trailers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker completely leave out the Knights of Ren. The incredibly mysterious group are known to be part of the movie, but the capacity of their appearance still isn't clear. It appears that, at the very least, they are involved with the Pasaana portion of the movie. But, the trailers have come and gone without showing them in action or even with their fearless leader Kylo.
However, possibly the most shocking element of them not being in the trailers for Star Wars 9 is that they were featured in the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, despite that being their only scene in the film. They should have plenty of scenes that could be used in any of the trailers, so why they weren't included in any of them is strange. Maybe they're attempting not to get fans hopes up about how much screen time they'll have by hiding them.
Hux & Pryde
Another aspect of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that has been completely absent from the trailers is what the First Order is up to, especially when it comes to General Armitage Hux (Domnhall Gleeson) and Allegiant General Pryde (Richard E. Grant). The two of them were paired together for the Vanity Fair photoshoot earlier this year, but that is the only look at the First Order commanders that we've received. With the Resistance getting plenty of screen time in the trailers, it is surprising to not see the opposite side of this war in any way. As a result, there is no context for the state of the First Order, or what Hux (and Pryde) are looking to accomplish in the film.
Finally, the absence of the Sith Troopers in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's trailers is quite surprising. In the lead up to this final trailer, the Sith Troopers continued to become more prominent. Their suits were featured at a San Diego Comic-Con exhibit and the army of them featured in a poster. They reportedly answer directly to Kylo, but many still believe that they are part of Palpatine's secret army instead. Regardless, a quick shot of the vast number of them could've been an effective way to show that the First Order (or Palpatine) have an army that can wipe out the Resistance. Instead, fans may not see the red troopers now until the movie itself.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019