Dark Side Rey?! The new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage has finally been released online, just days after it was first seen by fans at Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday in Anaheim, California.
The footage is not technically a trailer. Entertainment Weekly has called it a “sizzle reel.” In any case, that does not matter much to Star Wars fans who have been eagerly awaiting the ninth film installment in the saga.
Fans are intrigued, to say the least.
The “sizzle reel” begins with classic footage featuring our beloved Luke and Leia, tracing the Star Wars saga from the beginning. Among the new footage, we see a duel between Rey and Kylo Ren, surrounded by a raging sea. There’s a new shot of Darth Vader’s helmet and C-3P0 with red eyes.
We see a cut featuring a massive fleet of Star Destroyers and a new glimpse of General Leia that utilizes unseen footage that was originally shot for The Force Awakens.
But there is one shot that has left fans stunned. The footage ends with a scene featuring Rey in a hooded black robe. She reveals and unfolds a red double-sided lightsaber.
If you know anything about Star Wars, you know that red double-bladed lightsaber is a weapon most commonly used by followers of the dark side and the Sith. So, does this mean that we’re getting our first glimpse of Rey turning to the dark side?
According to actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey, the unexpected transformation is all part of her character’s journey in the saga. “I think that it should hopefully show people that we did a big old journey and we explored some things,” she said, and added, “So just you wait until the film.”
During the D23 Expo, director J.J. Abrams also talked about Leia’s posthumous return for the film, calling her “the heart of the story” and saying that they couldn’t “tell the end of these nine films without Leia.”
They realized that they could use unused footage from The Force Awakens in a new way so that the late Carrie Fisher could still be in the film.
This ninth and final installment promises to conclude the Star Wars saga that began way back in 1977 with A New Hope. The Rise of Skywalker is set to hit theaters on December 20th, 2019.