With the release of the final Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker trailer, it is time for another breakdown to see what we can decipher. Released on what would have been the late Carrie Fisher’s 63rd birthday, the trailer is a surprisingly emotional one that emphasises this being the last in the main series of Star Wars films. There is no telling what the future will hold for the franchise, but for now there is definitely a sense of finality to the main story.
The Resistance Helmet
The opening shot of the trailer shows Daisy Ridley’s Rey undergoing what looks like some kind of Jedi training. A year has passed since The Last Jedi when she was becoming more powerful, so she is likely to have honed her skills significantly since then. As Rey runs through a lush green forest looking planet, a busted up helmet falls to the ground behind her. It looks just like the older versions of the helmets used by the Resistance fighters from the original films. The planet she is on also looks like it might be Endor, the Ewok home world where the final battle took place in Return of the Jedi. The helmet may be a relic of this battle. Endor is also a planet known for its greenery and forest landscapes, but of course this could be a whole new world all together. This is the first of several call backs to Return of the Jedi that occur throughout the trailer.
Still a Scavenger at Heart
We hear some narration by John Boyega’s Finn saying that the Force brought him and Rey together as Rey continues to traverse the green planet. As she leaps across a crevasse, the scenery suddenly changes to inside the wreckage of what looks to be the second Death Star. It strongly reflects the scene from The Force Awakens when we are first introduced to Rey as she scavenges through some wreckages on Jakku from crashed ships. It shows just how far Rey has come from that time.
The Resistance Rises
We then see a shot of the rebels grouping together. In the scene, you can see Anthony Daniels’s C-3PO as well as Billy Dee Williams’s Lando Calrissian (that unmistakable yellow shirt is a dead giveaway). Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron is also seen and it looks as though he is commanding the meeting. Poe made plenty of mistakes in The Last Jedi but his dedication to the cause is undeniable so he is still likely to have a big influence with his fellow Resistance members. In The Last Jedi, a great deal of the rebel forces are wiped out entirely. It is good to see that they have managed to recruit more to the cause in the year since the events of that film as well as enlist help from the Resistance supporters scattered throughout the Outer Rim.
Next up are some shots of Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, Billie Lourd’s Lieutenant Connix and Dominic Monaghan’s unknown rebel character. There is then a shot of Poe, Finn and Chewbacca and we hear Poe say “We are not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them”.
Again, this emphasises Poe’s leadership role expanding and the Resistance growing since The Last Jedi. They are still hopelessly outnumbered, but the underdogs going up against the big, well-armed bad guys is nothing new for the Star Wars franchise.
A rebel ship rises from the forest landscape, which looks like it may be the base of operations for the Resistance.
The next scene of the trailer shows Rey in the debris of what looks like the Death Star II from the first trailer. As she stands with lightsaber in hand, we hear her say, “People keep telling me they know me. No one does”.
You can hear the gleeful squeals of Reylo shippers around the world as Kylo Ren approaches Rey. We hear him respond to Rey’s claims of no one knowing her by saying, “But I do”. The relationship between Rey and Kylo was one of the most interesting elements of The Last Jedi, as they were able to connect and talk to one another due to their link via the Force. Both of them attempted to convince the other to join their side and although neither of them budged, both Rey and Kylo seemed tempted by the others arguments. Daisy Ridley recently confirmed that the nature of their relationship will not be glossed over in The Rise of Skywalker, so their connection may go even deeper than we think.
Next we see a huge body of ice being approached by TIE fighters. At first glance, it looks to be a planet made entirely of ice but upon closer inspection, it also looks like it could be some kind of ice based asteroid. The planet theory becomes a little more believable when you look even closer and see that the underside of it looks to have building like structures. The First Order clearly has business of some sort here.
For The Throne
More narration comes in next, this time from Emperor Palpatine as we get a glimpse of his throne. It looks very much like a stereotypical bad guy chair in that it looks uncomfortable and impractical. The design is interesting though as it resembles a piece of unused concept art by Ralph McQuarrie from 1981.
Breaking the Ice
My favourite shot from the whole trailer is the moment that we see a Star Destroyer rising up through a sheet of ice. Everything about this shot screams sinister and the flashing of lightning in the background only emphasises the sense of impending doom. Could it be that this Star Destroyer is the reason why the First Order were approaching the ice planet? Perhaps it is an ancient Star Destroyer that had been buried in the ice generations ago. This scene is truly a spectacle and I can’t wait to see it on the big screen.
The increase in the Resistance fighters is once again emphasised by the huge amount of ships that join the Millennium Falcon. Some of the other ships in the fleet are recognisable too. To the right of the Falcon is the Ghost, a ship from the Star Wars : Rebels television show.
The Millennium Crew
Palpatine’s voice over states “Your coming together will be your undoing” which reflects his statement to Luke in Return of the Jedi about how Luke’s faith in his friends will be his downfall. We see the new trio of Rey, Finn and Poe along with Chewbacca and C-3PO as they pilot the Millennium Falcon. The mixture of old and new characters represents the new generation of Star Wars fans along with those who have been fans for decades. It is nice to see them all coming together despite Palpatine’s threats after being separated for most of The Last Jedi.
Rey and Kylo Ren will continue to fight one another throughout the film, as seen in this shot of them having a lightsaber battle on space debris in the middle of a raging ocean.
A ship skims across the water as it carries the heroes out to the wreckage of the Death Star II. The path to the wreck is clearly a dangerous one.
We then see a new character who goes by the name Babu Frik. Frik is a tiny and rather adorable little alien who specialises in droid repair, hence why he is tinkering C-3PO’s head.
I’m Not Crying, You Are
The next scene was one of the most emotional of the trailer. Poe asks C-3PO what he is doing and as he looks on at the group he says “Taking one last look,sir, at my friends”. The droids are beloved enough as it is but C-3PO has a special place in the heart of Star Wars fans. Threepio is such a loveable (if not slightly annoying) character who has been a part of the Star Wars universe since its inception. To see him killed off would break all of our hearts. Here’s hoping this moment is just trying to throw us off the scent of what will really happen in the movie.
Storming the Troopers
As an epic and sweeping version of the main theme swells, we see Chewie, Finn and Poe rush through what looks to be a First Order base. They take out Stormtroopers as they run through a pristine looking corridor.
Leia and Rey
Rey and Leia hug in a shot seen in the previous trailer as Luke narrates that, “Confronting fear is the destiny of a Jedi.” Luke appeared to die in The Last Jedi so whether he will train Rey in his ghost form or whether he will be revealed to be alive is yet to be seen. However, I am certain he will be making an appearance and will continue to influence Rey.
Lando and Chewie
Another shot of Lando and Chewbacca piloting the Millennium Falcon similar to the one we got in the first trailer. It is great to see Billy Dee Williams reprising his role and Joonas Suotamo is sure to continue the legacy of the late and great Peter Mayhew (the previous Chewbacca actor).
Space Horses Because Why Not
As the trailer announces that this is the end of the saga in the next shot, the resistance ride along on a new kind of creature. Though they look like space horses, they are actually known as Orbaks. Naomie Ackie’s new character Jannah rides with Finn and some other resistance members with BB-8 rolling along by the side. They seem to be charging head first into a battle of some kind.
Rey and Kylo face off once again, this time looking to be inside of the decimated Death Star. It is interesting to note that Rey has her lightsaber out and at the ready whilst Kylo does not. He seems to be attempting to approach Rey. Perhaps this could be a moment of a truce between the two of them?
Another of the more interesting scenes in the trailer is this moment where Rey and Kylo- now wearing his trademark mask-destroy what looks like Darth Vader’s old mask. It is hard to tell if that is actually what is being destroyed here but this is certainly a moment of the two characters working together. It may even be a linked Force vision of some kind or a dream, but either way Rey and Kylo’s relationship is looking as complex as ever.
Finn X Poe 4Eva
A brief shot of Poe, Finn and C-3PO is shown next. Along with Finn and Rey and Rey and Kylo Ren, another popular ship amongst the fandom is Finn and Poe due to their sweet interactions in The Force Awakens and the genuine unlikely friendship that developed between the rebel pilot and the ex-Stormtrooper. Of course, this relationship is unlikely to actually come to fruition. Finn and Rose seemed to have feelings developing in The Last Jedi and Disney are likely not brave enough to have this actually happen. Nonetheless, we will continue to fly the flag of our Storm Pilot ship. They are the couple that we need, but not the couple that we deserve right now.
The next shot is a different angle of the resistance fighters atop the Orbaks. It is here that we see that they are actually riding across the top of a Star Destroyer. Here we can see the huge advantage that the First Order have over the rebels. They have far more weapons and more Star Destroyers can be seen in the shot as well as some TIE fighters.
Palp is Back
It looks like Rey is facing off against Emperor Palpatine in the next moment of the trailer. We don’t see his face though. We only get a view of him from the back as he seems to tower over Rey with machinery connected to him. If he really is still alive and not just tormenting Rey through visions, he is likely to be hooked up to equipment that is keeping him alive. Being thrown into a pit by Darth Vader is likely to have that affect.
The final shot we see is of Rey holding her lightsaber. We hear Luke say “The Force will be with you” before Leia finishes his sentence with “Always”. This was another moment that felt very emotional to me. Hearing Carrie Fisher’s Leia give Rey some final words is bittersweet. It also feels like the whole series has come full circle with the heroes who started it all handing over the reins to the next generation.
Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker will conclude the Skywalker Saga on December 19th, 2019.
Star Wars Fan Films Embrace the Essence of A Galaxy Far, Far Away
There is no doubt that dedicated fans are capable of creating brilliant, fan-made content, but the Star Wars fan base has a habit of going above and beyond in making incredible works of art that often surpass official entries in the franchise. Two relatively recent short fan films — one released last week, the other released in March of this year — are great examples of this.
The first is a 1970s/80s-style cartoon from YouTuber Wilkins Animation called Dark Empire Episode One: The Destiny of a Jedi. This animated short is incredibly reminiscent of classic cartoons — so much so that it is difficult not to feel a pang of nostalgia upon watching it. The style gives off a He-Man vibe due to the quirky animation, stellar voice work, and vibrant colour scheme. The story is set after The Return of The Jedi as Han, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO embark on a mission to save Luke and Lando, who are stranded on war-torn Coruscant. I won’t spoil anything in case you want to check it out for yourself, but the story is engaging, and I couldn’t help but feel that I wanted to see more when it came to an end.
Have a watch below if you want to see more, and to check out Wilkins Animation’s Patreon to support their work, click here.
The second fan made film is a slightly older (from March 2019) one called Battle of the Dreadnoughts, by YouTuber EckhartsLadder. The film is significantly shorter than the 12-minute Dark Empire cartoon, clocking in at about three and a half minutes. It depicts a space battle between the New Republic’s Viscount Class Star Defender and the Empire’s most dangerous of all its weapons, the Eclipse Super Star Destroyer. Battle of the Dreadnoughts may be short, but it is astounding in quality. Upon my first viewing, I was certain I had accidentally clicked on a scene from the movies rather than a fan-made project. The accuracy, attention to detail, and sheer scale blew my mind and — as with the Dark Empire animation — left me wanting more from the content creators involved.
There is no doubting the talent of the Star Wars fan base, but these two films in particular are incredible works of art both in their own right and as Star Wars fan projects.
For more Star Wars, have a read of our Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer breakdown.
The Real ‘Metal Gear Solid’ Edibles You Should Try on Your ‘Death Stranding’ Binge
While climbing your way across America in ‘Death Stranding’ or ‘Metal Gear Solid,’ you may find yourself a bit famished and in need of resources.
While climbing your way across the ruins of America as Sam Porter Bridges in Hideo Kojima‘s latest spunky trip Death Stranding you may find yourself a bit famished and in need of resources that can be procured on-site. What better time to fill your appetite during the latest Kojima Production’s release then by testing out some edible products previously featured in the Metal Gear Solid series while on your Death Stranding binge in the coming days.
“It is a well-balanced food. Because of that, it’s just perfect for giving your body the nutrition it needs in combat.”–Paramedic, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
The CalorieMate brand of nutritional Blocks was featured in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater as the very first product placement in the series that was not an advertisement for other Konami games. CalorieMate Blocks are energy supplement cookies that come in various flavors such as plain, maple, and cheese. According to Kojima himself, Naked Snake’s favorite CalorieMate Block is the chocolate-flavored brand.
In the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, the CalorieMate Block’s in-game model had been updated to reflect the latest flavor release at the time, Maple. For those living outside Japan, CalorieMate products can be found in standalone packages and various bundles all across Amazon for a small portion above their standard retail price point.
“Lightning in a black and yellow can! The only drink that can keep Snake going 24 hours a day.”Drebin’s Shop, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Regain 24, or simply known as Regain in its home territory, is a Japanese energy drink containing a mix of caffeine and taurin that has quasi-medicinal purposes. It is ideal for those who may suffer bodily fatigue, febrile exhaustion, convalescence, nutritional disorders, loss of appetite, and those who are physically frail. While it may sound like a real-life recovery item, this consumable is just like any other caffeinated energy drink.
Regain bottles can be imported online, but it should be noted that the brand is difficult to find due to production being in limited quantities and the company is focused on selling at brick and mortar stores. Regain products can be commonly found today in chain drugstores located in Japan such as Daikoku.
“It’s cheap and can be stored for a long time. And besides, its delicious. Its like a miracle food.”paramedic, metal gear solid 3: Snake eater
Instant Noodles are not as fast as the title may imply, but it still manages to get the point across. This is a dish containing noodles, vegetables, broth, and sometimes even various meats such as chicken and beef that can quickly be put together in three minutes or less using a microwave and warm water. The Nissin Ippudo brand noodles are often found throughout the series, but the majority of companies selling these dishes contain the same content. A large range of cheap and importable noodles from the company can be found here.
“The now staple brand name comes from a combination of the French word “Bon” and English word “Curry”, hence the name essentially means “delicious curry.”Model Viewer, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Bon Curry shares the same vein as Instant Noodles; a packaged curry dish that can be heated in a microwave in under three minutes that contain a wide variety of ingredients. Bon Curry was actually one of the first commercially available foods to be placed in a plastic pouch bag. These are common products that can be found in Japan at just about any local market or convenience store. Woah Japan has a large range of Bon Curries available to import.
Products featured throughout the Metal Gear Solid series may be common in Japan, but for the rest of the world, finding these collectibles and edibles in the wild can be quite difficult without online importing. With Kojima’s recent love for American products, the tables will soon turn with Death Stranding for the world. Until then, enjoy something that will be “pretty tasty” and strap in for Kojima Production’s newest realm of art.
Interactive YouTube Videos Return in ‘A Heist with Markiplier’
If you’re anything like me, you’ve wasted a good chunk of your life on YouTube. Back in the early 2010’s, I spent many a lazy afternoon browsing through a very special type of video: the interactive adventure. These were generally brief little stories that would let you click on annotations to determine how the rest of the adventure would play out. While these kinds of videos aren’t quite as prominent as they used to be, YouTube is officially resurrecting them with their latest major original series, A Heist with Markiplier.
This new series stars Markiplier, one of YouTube’s most recognizable gaming personalities, as he embarks on a major heist. Following in the tradition of those classic interactive videos, viewers will be able to influence the outcome of the adventure, resulting in 31 unique endings across 61 individual videos. You can get a taste of what to expect from the full reveal trailer above.
While this won’t be the first time that Markiplier has ventured into the interactive adventure genre (that honor would go to 2017’s A Date with Markiplier), it’s still a major new direction for the popular YouTuber, who is best known for doing Let’s Play videos of popular games on his channel. The series features higher production values than his typical videos thanks to its status as an exclusive YouTube Original, and unlike previous YouTube Originals, no subscription will be necessary to watch it. Instead, it will be available to watch for free for everyone when it releases on October 30.
With A Heist with Markiplier, YouTube is creating a union of new and old. On one hand, although last year’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch revived interest in interactive adventures, it doesn’t change that it’s a genre that saw its heyday back in the 2010’s, making it hardly the most relevant style of film for today. On the other hand, YouTube is putting Markiplier, easily one of the platform’s biggest content creators, as the face of this fairly niche series. It will be intriguing to see how these elements are handled in the final release.
Personally, I know I’m not alone in feeling nostalgic for the simple days of interactive YouTube videos, so it’s heartwarming to see this tried-and-true formula return in A Heist with Markiplier. But what about you? Does this bring back as many memories for you as it does for me? Be sure to leave a comment and let me know.
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