The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has said he just wants to sit back and enjoy the last film as a Star Wars fan. Today with the release of the first teaser-trailer for the newly named film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, he got his first chance to do just that.
So what did Johnson think? Judging by his reaction on Twitter, he’s very pleased. The director of Brick, Looper, and the most recent main Star Wars film took the opportunity to gush like any other fan would.
I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS and I just melted back into being a happy kid. If you need me I’ll be spending the rest of the day smiling dreamily. https://t.co/z8evIBbRoA
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) April 12, 2019
Johnson directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was criticized by some fans for subverting the expectations set in JJ Abrams’ first movie, The Force Awakens. In particular, Rey’s parentage turned out to be no one of consequence, and the villainous Snoke was dispatched fairly easily, undermining him as a serious threat. Some have suggested that JJ Abrams returning to direct the last film means that some of Johnson’s choices will be retconned, but this teaser-trailer does not confirm that to be the case. Johnson has indicated he doesn’t really mind whatever Abrams would like to do with it.
With Snoke gone, the new primary villain of The Rise of Skywalker would appear to be Emperor Sheev Palpatine. His signature cackle can be heard near the end of the trailer, and just to make sure there was no confusion, actor Ian McDiarmid appeared on stage. We’ve posited a few theories on how the deceased villain may be making a return.
Palpatine isn’t the only relic getting a reappearance in this final film. The footage also showed what appeared to be the wreckage of a Death Star–most likely the second such space station, where Palpatine presumptively died. This film is said to take place some time after The Last Jedi, so the characters have had some time to grow into their various roles before coming back together for a last adventure. That still leaves the mystery of what the title means.
The presentation wasn’t all nostalgia, though. It also introduces us to a new character named Jannah, played by actress Naomi Ackie. Asked if she could be the daughter of Lando Calrissian, who is also reprising his role for this film, she gave a coy response that didn’t exactly amount to a denial.