“There’s been an awakening, have you felt it?”
For those who connected with Disney’s D23 Expo this past weekend, you should know that a great disturbance in the Force was felt all the way from Anaheim. However, this wasn’t just any other disturbance, it was an awakening. From Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian trailer, to a brand-new trailer and poster of The Rise of Skywalker, this awakening nearly put all Star Wars fans into a coma.
However, after awakening from my Star Wars-induced coma, I realized that there is a lot to discuss and speculate on from these new releases. First and foremost, let’s put on a jet pack and blast backwards to the Mandalorian.
1. Did You See Those Stormtrooper Helmets on Spikes?!
The first and last scene of a trailer are notably the most remembered scenes. In this case, this is rightly so. As we begin, we see stormtrooper helmets on spikes! Hopefully, the heads under those helmets are not still attached. This is reminiscent of a similar scene in Lord of the Rings where we see orc heads skewered on a plethora of spikes.
Besides the great comparison, this scene sets the tone, showing that you can expect this show to be much more gritty, violent, and darker compared to any other Star Wars film or show to date. To me, the whole style felt like a mix between Rogue One and Solo– it’s gritty yet has that western vibe to it, which so far, has proven to be the perfect combination.
2. Death Troopers Causing Mayhem?
Death Troopers in the Mandalorian further prove my point that this show has that war-themed gritty Rogue One vibe to it all. The question is though, what are death troopers doing in a show that takes place many years after Rogue One?
As an avid gamer who mostly plays Battlefront II, the story mode takes place moments after the fall of the Empire on Endor. However, it shows that leftover remnants of the Empire still are keeping the fight going through various ways-even through the destruction of their own planets and bases. Because Palpatine was so possessed by power, through several messenger droids, he ordered the remaining leaders to commence self-annihilation through Operation Cinder.
To the point, since some of the Empire remained after Endor, it makes sense to see death troopers in the Mandalorian. And to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more of the Empire than just a siege of death troopers.
3. IG-11: The Next Rambo
Am I right? Tell me I’m wrong! Out of the entire trailer, this IG unit stole the show for me. Sure, Pedro Pascal was hard-core, but seeing this IG unit go full-out Rambo with ammo harnesses laced across his armor was just totally awesome.
On a different note, some have confused this unit with a similar one found in Empire Strikes Back– IG-88.
However, thanks to Entertainment Weekly, this matter finally got resolved. They confirmed that not only is this unit IG-11, but Taika Waititi, who will be in the director’s chair, will also be playing this character as well.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on this character because it’s totally brand new to the Star Wars universe. But what we do know is that it’s a masculine IG-Series droid that has one program- bounty hunting.
All in all, I think it would be funny to see IG-11 meet up with its counterpart IG-88 and have a good ole fashion duel; something that would help give it more of that Solo-like western vibe.
4. The Mandalorian Doing Mandalorian Things…
Pedro Pascal, whether it was intuition or most likely, just perfect casting, Pascal has shown that he isn’t just an ordinary actor- but a bounty hunter by trade.
To get to the pinnacle of his characters’ persona, Pascal said he had to channel his inner Han Solo and a little bit of Clint Eastwood. And quite honestly, I can believe it!
Whether it’s having a standoff with stormtroopers to making an entrance in style with a fellow IG-Series bounty hunter droid, Pedro has proven that he has what it takes to get the job done. And one thing that will not change is his character:
“It’s aesthetically and very, very much narratively built in that kind of iconic lone gunslinger/sword-wielder.”
However, just like IG-11, the Mandalorian is an all-new character and doesn’t have any known background besides this little piece of information we were given awhile back from Entertainment Weekly:
“Likes to work alone and is rather attached to his stuff (and, yes, he has another, real name…).”
His character was overall exhilarating and as gritty and western-like we all have been hoping for.
5. Encased in Carbonite
Ever since the Empire Strikes Back it appears that the best method to get even with someone you don’t like is to just freeze them in carbonite and frame them on a wall.
Obviously, there’s a little more to it than that, but one of the most terrifying scenes in the trailer was possibly seeing one of the Mandalorians’ bounties encased in carbonite.
Whoever it was, Stephen Stanton who voices Moralo Eval, posted the above picture on his Instagram with a caption:
“That carbonite prisoner in the Mandalorian trailer reminds me of someone…”
Stanton appears to confirm who this character encased in carbonite was, who is none other than Moralo Eval. Although I think it’s just an Easter egg, and it won’t be a voiced role, I think it’s cool, nonetheless.
The Rise of Skywalker
1. Sith Fleet
Ever since the reveal of Palpatine’s return to the saga during Star Wars Celebration, fans have been on a frenzy ever since- speculating and analyzing what his return will look like. Well, I think that you could say that the best way to return from any absence is to return in style.
With the reveal of the Sith trooper, decked out in all its red glory, comes the comparison to the above shown Imperial Star Destroyers where they appear to have reddish borders or red markings on the edges of them. Now, as for the analysis, if the Sith troopers are symbolized with a red finish, wouldn’t the ships they are transported on look similar? I believe that these Imperial Star Destroyers aren’t just regular ole destroyers, but Sith Star Destroyers. If my analysis is true, then that means that all these ships are part of a Sith fleet. Take that as you will, but if I’m right on this, this would really show how much Palpatine is truly involved.
2. Who’s Ship Is That?
Without trying to dole out any spoilers here, I will briefly explain why this certain ship is circled in red. As some of you may know by now, Keri Russell is playing an all-new character, Zorri Bliss. Zorri Bliss is a female scoundrel who has a past connection with Poe Dameron and the Resistance.
Now, here is where we go neck-deep into minor spoilers. Zori Bliss is the pilot and owner of this ship. There, I said it. If my sources are correct, then this means that her character will most likely be fighting alongside with the Resistance.
Here’s a cliffhanger for you: Where else do we see this ship in the saga?
That’s up to you to figure out!
3. Sith Star Destroyers with Death Star Tech?
As mentioned before, I believe these once Imperial Star Destroyers to now be some sort of Sith fleet working for Palpatine. I believe the sequence of shots in this teaser were not a coincidence.
During closer inspection, it appears that these altered star destroyers each have a huge laser cannon of some sort underneath them. After some thought, I’ve concluded that these ships may also have Death Star capabilities. What I’m alluding to is that each one of these ships have the capability of destroying an entire planet or at least severely altering the surface of one. If this is the case, then the Resistance really is in a huge mess of trouble.
Although the Death Star could occasionally jump to light speed, these ships are much more maneuverable and would be easier to spread throughout the galaxy to annihilate entire planetary systems. Maybe Palpatine’s last plan is to destroy every chartered system that isn’t willing to bow down to his authority? If so, this would not only make it easier, but much more effective.
Unfortunately, this is all theory right now but if I’m right, let’s hope the Resistance finds a way to destroy or deactivate this Sith fleet before it inflicts a galaxy full of destruction and chaos.
4. Dark Rey… “You went straight to the DARK!”
One of the most stunning sequences throughout the entire Skywalker saga was listening to Rey explain her connection to the Force during one of her brief training sessions with Luke on Ach-To island. Here’s what happened:
“Luke: Breathe. Reach out with your feelings. What do you see?
Rey: The island. Life. Death and decay, that feeds new life. Warmth. Cold. Peace. Violence.
Luke: And between it all?
Rey: Balance and energy. A force.
Luke: And inside you?
Rey: Inside me, that same force.
Luke: And this is the lesson. That Force does not belong to the Jedi. To say that if the Jedi die, the light dies, is vanity. Can you feel that?
Rey: There’s something else… beneath the island. A place. A dark place.
Luke: Balance. Powerful light, powerful darkness.
Rey: [Rock beneath her starts to crack] It’s cold. It’s calling me.
Luke: Resist it, Rey! Rey! Rey! [Rey snaps out of the vision] You went straight to the dark.”
“You went straight to the dark.” There is no denying that she did. Rey heard the dark side calling to her and in turn, listened without a moment’s hesitation.
And this is the lesson. I believe that this moment in the teaser where we see Dark Rey, isn’t just a vision, but perhaps, it is actually showing Rey going straight to the dark like she did in The Last Jedi, and in turn, Rey is allowing herself to be tempted and taken over by Palpatine.
Here is where things get even more interesting. The video above shows in slow-motion what looks like to be a force ghost, possibly Luke’s brown cloak, on the right bottom side of the screen. You may have to replay it multiple times, but you’ll begin to see what I see.
First of all, why do I think it’s a force ghost? If you look closely at the outline of the brown cloak, it appears to have a faint blue outline around it, suggesting that whoever this is, is most likely a force ghost. Furthermore, Mark Hamill has also confirmed his return as a force ghost in EPIX as well.
Here’s my theory. As a force ghost, Luke will return and attempt to sway Rey back to the light side, but since she has already been tempted and possessed by Palpatine’s life force (spirit), he will ultimately fail. In turn, like seeing himself through a mirror, but through Rey, Kylo will see what he has become and ultimately, Kylo will redeem himself by helping Rey back to the light side so together, they can destroy the real evil- Palpatine. Whether Kylo’s path to redemption leads to his death or not, this message of hope will be fulfilled: The Rise of Skywalker.
In my honest opinion, I think J.J. Abrams expects most of us to think this whole scene is just some sort of a Force vision, which will make it all the more surprising when the movie actually reveals Rey’s true potential to go “straight to the dark.”
5. This Is Not the First Time We’ve Seen This Type of Lightsaber Design Before
As an avid fan of the Star Wars TV show Rebels, seeing Rey with a lightsaber used by one of the Jedi temple guards was quite satisfying and a nice callback to other segments of the franchise.
*Rebels Spoiler Ahead*
However, a nice little twist to that story’s plot shows that this temple guard later becomes an Inquisitor for the Emperor. This further fuels my theory, as previously mentioned, that Rey who was once good, has the potential for darkness just as this Jedi temple guard once had. In all honestly, whether my theory is disproved or not, I’m sure J.J. will satisfy us with something truly special.
Now as for C-3PO, that’s another story entirely…
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