Mike Phillip’s reaction to the latest The Rise Of Skywalker footage!

via Instant Reaction: Star Wars-The Rise of Skywalker D23 Footage

As those of you who follow the podcast know well enough, I like to get into some pop culture happenings now and again. We’ve covered plenty of Marvel on the podcast, and a little Stranger Things for good measure, but there is one hot topic we haven’t hit yet: Star Wars. The final film in the Skywalker saga, Episode IX, will be released later this year. Disney, which owns Star Wars now, released a new sizzle reel at D23 earlier this week and it has the internet buzzing. Before we dive into what we can expect here, take a sneak peek at the footage below.

You may need to watch this about five or 60 times to get a glimpse of everything, but here’s what stuck out to me from the teaser trailer.

EXPECT MORE HOMAGES TO THE PAST

The first minute of this trailer features memorable moments from the first eight films of the main series (apologies to all the fans of Rogue One and Solo: A Star Wars Story), and fans have pointed out that both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi paid blatant homage to A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Don’t be shocked if The Rise of Skywalker continues the trend with a tribute to Return of the Jedi.

RED-EYED C-3PO

One of the more eye-popping visuals (not the big one, we’re getting to that) is the shot of C-3PO with bright red eyes. You have to wonder what would have to happen to find our favorite paranoid protocol droid in need of some Clear Eyes.

WE’RE IN FOR A MASSIVE SPACE BATTLE

We haven’t had a truly epic space battle in the new trilogy yet, but it looks like we’re poised to get one here. The shot of the First Order’s massive armada of Star Destroyers is certainly intimidating, but the Resistance’s fleet isn’t looking too shabby either. Considering how decimated the group looked at the end of The Last Jedi, it makes you think we’re in line for a significant time jump between the two films.

WAS THAT THE DEATH STAR IN THE WATER?

We have our obligatory Rey vs. Kylo Rea fight scene in this trailer, but it takes place on a watery planet on top of some very familiar looking wreckage. J.J. Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens and is returning for The Rise of Skywalker, had some stunning shots of wreckage from Star Destroyers and Rebel ships on Jakku in Episode VII. The Death Star wasn’t featured there, but perhaps this footage is hinting at wreckage from the second Death Star, which blew up over Endor in Episode VI.

Photo Credit: Disney

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT SWISS ARMY KNIFE LIGHTSABER?

Ok, now we have to get to the shot that everyone is talking about: a hooded Rey on a dark planet with a folding dual-bladed red lightsaber. Rey and Kylo Ren have been linked over the course of the new trilogy, with each attempting to turn the other to their respective side of the force like Luke and Darth Vader did in the original saga. While Luke was able to resist the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi, does this mean Rey falls here? Or is it a vision, much like how Luke had a vision of his face underneath Darth Vader’s mask on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back? Either way, we definitely need to know what’s up with this latest advancement in lightsaber technology.

This footage raised plenty of questions about the film, but it also hasn’t addressed a few big ones that have hovered over the project since the initial trailer was released earlier this summer. We still have no idea exactly what role Leia plays in the film, although we do know the late Carrie Fisher will appear via deleted footage that was originally shot for Episode VII. This trailer also doesn’t provide much insight into the return of Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine, who was confirmed to be cast despite his character’s supposed death in Return of the Jedi, or how original trilogy stars like Mark Hamill (whose character also died in The Last Jedi) and Billy Dee Williams will feature. Either way, the hype for this movie is definitely through the roof and I can’t wait to find out more of how this nine film saga will finally come to an end.

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