‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Final Trailer: A Shot-By-Shot Analysis

by Antonia Haynes
Published: Last Updated on

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.

Icy Reception

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.

Rebel Fleet

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.

Babu Frik

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.

Together Again

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.

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