Cue the John Williams’ drumroll please, as it’s finally here: some long-awaited details and a stunning first look at the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, now officially titled Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Directed by J.J. Abrams and starring Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Lupita Nyong’o, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels and even Carrie Fischer (!!!) and Mark Hammill is the 11th overall Star Wars film and the third of the third trilogy, which is said to be the last dealing with the Skywalker legacy. 

[READ MORE: Our enthusiastic review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens]

With an end of year release date, it’s about time that fans get a glimpse at what Abrams has been cooking up, especially after the divisive reaction to Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, which had fans split on the decision to “let the past die” by unceremoniously killing off Luke Skywalker, draining the mystery of Rey’s lineage, and otherwise eschewing expectations. The reins were handed over to Abrams by the House of Mouse in the hopes of bringing the story to a satisfying close that pleases fans and critics of the middle chapter alike while putting a nice bow on the nine-story saga of Anakin Skywalker and his troubled lineage.

The trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker attempts to bridge that gap by teasing the end of the line for Rey, Fin, Poe, and Kylo Ren. Bringing with it Abrams’ signature trademark for mystery in marketing, The Rise of Skywalker sets the tone without offering tons of story details but rest assured, after Disney CEO Bob Iger claiming just this morning that the Star Wars franchise will be taking a “hiatus” after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it will bring the whole story full circle. And with that comes an exciting and rather unexpected appearance by the series’ formative villain: Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine.

[READ MORE: Our mixed review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi]

The trailer debuted at this year’s annual Star Wars Celebration, which assembled the cast, crew, suits behind the scenes and, for some reason, Stephen Cobert, to a huge crowd and immediate uproar. So check it out and sound off on your thoughts: Do you think this will be an improvement over The Last Jedi? Will Kylo Ren’s story end in infamy? Will Rey, Poe, or Fin meet their demise? Why is the Emperor laughing?

[READ MORE: Our positive review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]

Joining the cast for this latest in the Star Wars universe is Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, and Dominic Monaghan. The film is set to release in all the theaters in the world on December 20, 2019. With fan anticipation at an all-time high, the question shifts to the question of what will be the biggest moneymaker of 2019: Disney’s Avengers: Endgame or Disney’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? 

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