3:28pm PT by Ryan Parker
'Star Wars': The Subtle and Emotional Callback in 'Rise of Skywalker' Trailer
The first trailer for the highly anticipated Episode IX dropped Friday — and per usual, Star Wars fans were awash in motions.
Viewers were not simply sharing via social media the trailer for the film — revealed to be titled Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — but were also telling which moment was the biggest tearjerker; a common occurrence when a preview for the newest chapter dripping with nostalgia drops.
Seeing Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), not only back, but once again piloting the Falcon with Chewbacca, was an impactful moment. And Leia (Carrie Fisher) hugging a tearful Rey (Daisy Ridley) also tugged at heartstrings.
But, arguably the most emotional moment in the trailer happened so quickly, some may have missed it (though not fans who have been watching all day on a loop). At one point during the teaser, just for a second, Leia is holding onto the medal she awarded Han Solo (Harrison Ford) at the end of 1977's A New Hope.
This single moment is powerful for a number of reasons.
First, Fisher died in 2016 and seeing new footage of her is emotional no matter what she is doing. Next, Han was surprisingly killed in Force Awakens. Han and Leia, of course, fell in love and had a son, Adam Driver's Ben (Kylo Ren), whom Han tired to save — unsuccessfully. But seeing the characters reunited in Force Awakens was meaningful for fans.
As with Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams hits that nostalgia sweet spot. Remembering Han is gone in the moment hurts fans as much as Leia's death. Finally, it signals that this really is the end of the Skywalker storyline. One last hurrah for the characters so many have loved for more than 40 years.
As with any Star Wars film, there will be twists and turns, but for now, that single moment best seemed to represent what Abrams is shooting for in terms of emotion for the final storyline installment.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens Dec. 20.