2019 is a year of endings.
The decades-long Game of Thrones franchise will release the first episode of its final season on HBO this weekend, while the mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe will test if good ultimately wins over a purple, gauntlet-wearing alien with the release of Avengers: Endgame.
Lest we forget, another saga will conclude this year. Come December, fans will be treated to a thrilling and chilling ride as Star Wars Episode 9 drops in cinemas.
Spoiler alert! With the last movie, Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi, we witnessed how the number of resistance fighters dwindled to just a few soldiers, and how a "dead" Luke Skywalker manifested himself to fight against his nephew, Kylo Ren.
This last film received mixed reviews. Most fans saw that the film subverted all the expectations set up by the first film in the trilogy, which was Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens. It was as if the entire Star Wars canon was completely changed.
Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise Of Skywalker
The new teaser trailer uploaded on April 13 reveals a few hints and clues that aren't what they seem.
The trailer opens to show Rey in the middle of the desert, panting. She has a far-away look and attempts to steady her breathing. A voiceover of Luke Skywalker plays in the background as Rey calms down and anticipates a tie fighter from the distance.
The tie fighter swooshes toward Rey and she uses her lightsaber to run away from the vehicle. It turns out the tie fighter is Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer, which looks massive and intimidating. Rey jumps and flips over the tie fighter in a stunning exhibition of her Jedi powers.
The next scene in the trailer shows the Millennium Falcon flying toward a city at nighttime. Then we see Kylo Ren using his light saber to fight against someone who's face is completely covered.
We also see someone repair Kylo Ren's broken mask, which could be a reference to the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery known as Kintsugi.
In the next scene, Finn and Poe are together in the desert, and then we see BB8 with a companion droid.
With the legendary Han Solo gone, who will pilot the Millennium Falcon? It turns out the smooth-talking smuggler Lando Calrissian is back, and he joins Chewbacca as they fly the Millennium Falcon together.
There are a lot of fight scenes shown in this teaser trailer, and we see Finn, Poe, and CP30 trying to avoid being killed. And then a golden pendant inscripted with the symbol of the rebellion is shown on the screen. This pendant was first introduced in Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope.
We see General Leia Organa embrace a tear-streaked Rey, as Luke says in a voiceover, "We will always be with you. No one's ever really gone."
The gang, complete with Rey, Finn, Poe, CP30, Chewbacca, and BB8, all look at a Death Star that's rising from the water. Cut to the black, and diabolical laughter fills the screen. The title of episode 9 is then revealed as The Rise of Skywalker.
Is Snoke Alive?
With the teaser trailer out, a lot of questions remain unanswered. There is a reason the editors of this trailer added diabolical laughter after Luke says that no one is ever really gone. Does it mean that Snoke, who was killed off by Kylo Ren in an anticlimactic fashion during The Last Jedi, is still alive? Is he plotting somewhere else? Does he have anything to do with the underwater Death Star shown in the trailer?
Or is the diabolical laughter from a flashback from the past and Snoke really is dead?
Is Rey A Skywalker Or Is The Title Referring To Kylo Ren?
Another question is over the title of the film. In The Last Jedi, it was implied that Rey was not a Skywalker and that her birth parents were nobodies. So is this last film referring to Kylo Ren, who is a Skywalker?
Or is it referring to General Leia Organa? With the mournful death of the wonderful Carrie Fisher, it was unclear for a period how the producers would go along with Episode 9, but the producers promised that they will give General Leia Organa the proper send-off in honor of Fisher.
Will Luke Skywalker Make Another Appearance?
So Luke probably isn't dead and he likely reached the "god-like" level that Jedi masters have. It is possible that we will see Luke again.
A New Hope For Another Trilogy?
Like the MCU, Disney also acquired the rights to Star Wars. After the entire canon was expanded in The Last Jedi, the question that needs answering is this: will Disney produce a new saga?
Although Lucasfilm has not announced anything new yet, Den of Geek reported that Disney might be reconsidering. The last Star Wars spin-off, which was Solo, bombed at the box office and did not receive much fanfare. Allegedly, spin-off movies have been put on hold.
So what's next? Star Wars: The Clone Wars franchise will return on Disney. And while the Boba Fett spinoff has been postponed, there is also another spinoff that revolves around a different bounty hunter. The Mandalorian (2019) is directed by Jon Favreau.
Lastly, although the Rian Johnson-directed Last Jedi received mixed reviews because of its revisionism, there is hope that Johnson will direct a new trilogy under this "blank canvas."
"We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi," said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. "He's a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career."
So far, nothing is set in stone. But whichever direction the producers of Star Wars take, fans will anticipate the next set of films, whether it be a spin-off or a new saga.
Watch the teaser trailer here: