We may have had to wait an entire weekend, but the Star Wars 9 footage that debuted at D23 has finally been uploaded online. The "special look" is more sizzle reel than trailer, with half of the two minutes running time comprised of clips of past Star Wars films. However, we get the droids, er footage, we've been looking for at the 1:12 mark. Here's everything we saw:
New Faces, New Places
The first shot shows Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, and C-3PO on a desert planet that was recently confirmed to be Pasaana. They're standing at the edge of a valley, looking down into what seems to be a colorful festival of sorts, complete with fireworks made of sand and cool kites. We also get a quick glimpse of Naomi Ackie's character, Jannah, seen in a ship with Finn, who both look pretty scared. We don't know much about Janna, except that she definitely wields a badass bow, as revealed in an exclusive Vanity Fair feature. There is a rumor that she's related to the smoothest man in space, Lando Calrissian - that's only furthered by her gold and blue outfit. Later clips show a battle on a planet that's home to the remains of the Death Star - which version of the Death Star it is, however, would determine which planet serves as the setting.
Ships on Ships
We get a glimpse at what will likely be a big space battle between the First Order and the Resistance - X-wings, B-wings, A-wings, and Y-wings all jump into view before we see a parallel shot of what looks to be the largest collection of Star Destroyers, ever? Are they meeting for an epic space battle? Some keen-eyed fans are pointing out that the ships look like Imperial-class Destroyers from back in the Palpatine days, suggesting the First Order might have found a stash of vintage Destroyers. This would also suggest that Palpatine had quite the plan in place in case he bit the bullet - one that includes Sith troopers, perhaps?
Sabers on Sabers
A shot of Rey in a forest shows her angrily throwing a blue saber through a tree before it boomerangs back into her outstretched hand. But if you take a closer look, you can see that she's throwing her saber at a training droid - a Marksman-H training remote to be precise. We also see a very dramatic Kylo Ren stalking away from his Tie Silencer, unsheathing his custom lightsaber as he walks. He's likely walking towards a battle with Rey, as the next shot seems to be set in the same place, and features the two of them striking sabers atop the ruins of the Death Star. Could this be The Rise of Skywalker's version of the Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker battle at Mustafar from Revenge of the Sith? If so, who ends up missing limbs at the end of it? And how many flips are involved? (Don't worry, we'll get to that saber in a second.)
Dark Side of the Force
One scene features a red-eyed C-3PO rising up from what looks to be some type of repair station. Has everyone's least favorite robot turned bad? Honestly, it would make him more interesting. And in the clip heard round the universe, after Palpatine's voice warns us that the journey nears its end, the last shot we see is of Dark Rey, clad in black-cowled robes, wielding a double-bladed red saber. It's not the same dual-sided saber that Darth Maul has in Episode I, but an entirely new one that flips open. The Twitter account for Barstool's movie podcast pointed out that, the flip open double-bladed saber may be brand new to the film universe, but it's been seen before in the Star Wars Rebels animated series.
Does this clip of Rey mean she'll turn? In The Last Jedi, she tells Kylo Ren, "I saw your future. Just the shape of it but solid and clear. You will not bow before Snoke. You'll turn. I'll help you." And while Kylo did turn against Snoke, his refusal to join Rey and go to the light side makes his response that much more interesting. After Rey insists he'll turn, Kylo responds with, "I saw something too. I know when the time comes, you'll be the one to turn."
Now, it's likely that this visual of Dark Rey is just a vision, as our protagonist has had plenty of strange visions already. But it could also mean that Rey's struggle to find balance within herself could result in her becoming a Grey Jedi, or a Jedi in touch with both the light and dark sides of the force. Perhaps these Grey Jedi, as others have suggested, would be called Skywalkers…
If you're ready for more Star Wars stuff, there are loads ahead, including Ewan McGregor returning as Obi-Wan Kenobi.