I’ll Be Damned. They Managed To Surprise Me

So…the original plan for the next blog post was for to write a review of Shazam, which I saw a week ago. I decided to hold off, however, because I recorded a podcast with the Fanbase Weekly crew reviewing the film, and why type up a long review when you could just listen to me expound upon it. But, for real life reasons, the podcast hasn’t been posted yet, so I came to the computer to type up my review.

And then I remembered that Star Wars Celebration is today…and that the first look at Episode IX was in the offing. So I went to Facebook and tuned in. This is what I got.

Here are my thoughts, and they are SPOILERY, at least for the teaser itself. (It’s stupid that I have to issue this warning…but I do.)

  • My biggest gripe with The Force Awakens was how proficiently Rey used the Force. But now, she has had at least SOME training with Luke, and she has had an indeterminate amount of time with the Jedi texts. So I’m perfectly content with her doing some bad-ass Force stuff.
  • There is pure delight in the laughter of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. Pure delight.
  • Seeing Rey and Leia embrace was…excuse me, my allergies are acting up. I’ll be right back.
  • Lest you wonder, it’s all but confirmed that the laughter at the end of the teaser was that of Emperor Palpatine. After the showed the teaser in the panel, Ian McDiarmid, who played(plays) Palpatine, came out and, in his best Emperor voice, intoned: “Show it again.” (Mr. McDiarmid had NOT been on the panel before the teaser was shown.)
  • I’m interested by the fact that they don’t show the pilot of what we’re supposed to assume is Kylo Ren’s fighter as it approaches Rey. We see Kylo Ren elsewhere in the teaser, but not there. Could someone else be piloting that thing?
  • A couple of my comic creator buddies, Troy Brownfield and Steve Ekstrom, have posited that what if the Skywalker that “rises” is not a blood relation? What if Rey takes Skywalker as her new name, since she comes from nothing? What if the Jedi order is cast aside, and a new order rises in its place. What if these new Force wielders are called Skywalkers? Very interesting.
  • I already have friends protesting the return of Palpatine…even as they’re unbothered by the voiceover delivered by Luke Skywalker? If Ben Kenobi, and Yoda, and Luke can return from the dead to make the galaxy a better place…why wouldn’t we see Palpatine return in some fashion?

Prediction: The Rise of Skywalker is the rise of ANAKIN Skywalker. Everyone else has returned from the dead in some fashion, or so it seems…and the Star Wars saga has always been about Vader’s redemption. In this final film, Vader will redeem himself one last time, by cleaning up the mess of his legacy.

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