Trailer review: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

This trailer got me so hyped that I’m genuinely having trouble calming down enough to analyze it shot-by-shot. So I’m not gonna try. Instead, here are some things that leapt out about it to me, and feel free to chime in with the things that caught your eye.
1.) THAT OCEAN. I think that the image of a genuinely wild sea trapped inside the half-sunken shell of the Death Star might be the most memorable shot of this entire trailer. It’s genuinely frightening, in the primordial way that the ocean *should* be frightening. If I found myself in that water, I think I would give up immediately, and pray that death by drowning would be more immediate, and less painful, than death-by-skinning-on-broken-Death-Star.
2.) THAT FOREST. If Rey actually ends up running through Endor, and that’s not just a dream sequence, I will eat my hat, but also die of pleasure, because there is nothing I enjoy quite like a good training-in-the-forest montage.
3.) THOSE VOICES. It occurs to me that you could close your eyes and listen to this trailer entirely without visuals, and you would still be moved. This is partially due to Williams’s reorchestration of “Star Wars: Main Title”, a theme which should be carved on a record and shot into space as a sort of Crowning Achievement Of All Mankind, but it’s also due to the fact that *all these actors are such total pros*. Has there ever been a greater voice-wobble than Anthony Daniels’s droidish break in “Taking one last look, sir… at my friends”? If there has been, it’s Oscar Isaac’s in “We are NOT alone.” Or possibly Leia’s, in “Always”. It is genuinely astounding how much quality voice-acting is on display in this two minutes and thirty-seven seconds of film.
4.) Speaking of quality film craftsmanship, can we just talk for half a second about whoever is doing the makeup and lighting on this rig? Because we are capturing a short novel’s worth of information just from the quality of light on skin in this trailer. Look at the warm terra-cotta highlights on John Boyega under “the Force has brought us together”, subtly nudging us back to the desert landscape where he met Rey for the first time. Look at the way Kylo Ren almost disappears into the tempest behind him, the furious glow of his lightsaber the only distinction between him and that out-of-control ocean. Look at the way a flash of lightning subtly accentuates Rey’s transition from fear to serenity, under the shared Luke/Leia voiceover of “the Force will be with you. Always”. (Note: while I share everyone else’s concern over whatever suicide mission they’re sending Threepio on, I think the one we should actually be worried about is Rey. I’m worried that she’s gonna pull an Obi-Wan and self-sacrifice either to stop, or in an attempt to redeem, Kylo Ren.)
5. Iceberg planet!
6. Star destroyer surfacing out of an ocean! (I am extremely pleased at the amount of naval battles we’re apparently going to have in this installment.)
7. SPACE HORSES!!!!!!!!!!! OK so everyone is gonna have to settle this for us. Fraser thinks the space horses are dumb. I say that they are a literal mounted cavalry charge in the ultimate Space Western and their hoofbeats provide an almost transcendent visual counterpoint to the rising swell of the music underneath them and I don’t understand how anyone looks at this trailer without crying. So which one of us is right?
(I am. It’s me.)
Goddamn, I can’t wait for this movie.

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