The Atlantic

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Might Spark an Old Fight

The trailer for the final film in Disney’s trilogy raises the notion that J. J. Abrams undid the twists of The Last Jedi. But that might be a bluff.
Source: Disney

Luke Skywalker is dead. Rey’s parents are “nobody.” Yet Star Wars: Episode IX will be subtitled The Rise of Skywalker. What Skywalker is rising? From where to where? The name is a provocation—one very much in line with the director J. J. Abrams’s love of teasing audiences like a magician. He promises huge, reality-shifting twists. Behind the curtain often lies something familiar.

The teaser that debuted at Friday’s Celebration in Chicago is even less informative than previous teasers for Disney’s revamped saga, which is saying something. It opens with Rey, the biomes: a desert. “We’ve passed on all we know,” Luke Skywalker, or his ghost, says in voice-over. “A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.” Out of the distance comes a souped-up TIE fighter. As Rey hurls herself over it, lightsaber in hand, ’s bullet time appears to come to the Galaxy Far, Far Away. It’s a statement piece of an opening—a reassertion that is, first, a nifty, visceral hybrid of Westerns, sci-fi, kung-fu flicks, and myth.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min read
The Watch That Went to the Moon
Fifty years ago, Buzz Aldrin wore his Omega Speedmaster Professional on the lunar surface. It’s been an icon—and a bestseller—ever since.
The Atlantic6 min read
Can’t Impeach Trump? Go After His Cabinet.
On July 21 and 22, 1864, Confederate soldiers under John Bell Hood went on the offensive in an attempt to blunt William T. Sherman’s advance toward Atlanta. Union artillery forces dug in behind fortifications at a place called Leggett’s Hill, east of
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
What Is Britain’s Responsibility to Hong Kong?
Even if London wanted to play a bigger role in its former colony’s impasse with China, it lacks the leverage.