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4 Questions I have in the wake of the new ‘Star Wars’ trailer

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The wait was long and agonizing, but we finally got our first taste of the upcoming ninth episode of the “Star Wars” Skywalker saga when the teaser trailer dropped on Friday. It’s an assemblage of imagery and sound that maintains a healthy air of mystery and whets your cinematic appetite for a return to that galaxy far, far away.

The teaser reveals the title of “Episode 9”: The Rise of Skywalker. But it leaves you with more questions than it answers. I have a ton of questions myself, but I have a limited word count, so here are the four “Star Wars” questions I most want answered:

(Note: I know I can probably find answers to all these questions and more with a quick Google search, but I’m trying to stay as spoiler-free as possible.)

What does that title mean?

The obvious answer is that “The Rise of Skywalker” refers to Rey, the central protagonist of this trilogy. Perhaps she isn’t really the child of a couple of nobodies who abandoned her. Perhaps she really is part of the Skywalker lineage.

But that seems too easy and there are plenty of other Skywalkers in these movies who could do some rising. Kylo Ren, one of the main villains in the Sequel Trilogy, is the son of a Skywalker. Maybe it’s his time to shine. Or maybe it refers to the legacy of Luke Skywalker. Or perhaps it somehow refers to Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Knight whose fall to the Dark Side and subsequent redemption drone in the first six “Star Wars” films. Only eight months, give or take, til we find out…

What will they do with Leia?

The death of Carrie Fisher casts a long shadow over “Episode 9.” Rumors suggested that her character, General Leia Organa, had a huge role in the new movie. As that isn’t possible, how have they handled that issue? How will Leia’s story play out? I NEED to know.

What’s up with Palpatine?

The “Rise of Skywalker” teaser ends with a very sinister and familiar cackle. We weren’t just hearing things. An appearance on the “Episode 9” panel at Star Wars Celebration Friday confirmed that actor Ian McDiarmid is returning to reprise the role of Emperor Palpatine, which he played in both the original and prequel “Star Wars” trilogies.

That begs the question: What form will Palpatine take? The Emperor has previously returned in books and comics as a clone of the original Palpatine. He could also be a ghost or some other kind of vision or projection. Whatever form he returns in, I can’t wait to see it!

What is the future of “Star Wars” post-”Rise of Skywalker”?

“Star Wars” is at a crossroads. “The Last Jedi” divided the fandom and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” outright flopped at the box office. On top of that, Disney’s Alan Horn has said that “Star Wars” films will be put on hiatus after “Episode 9.” While Disney has several televisions series in development for their forthcoming streaming service Disney+, it looks like “The Rise of Skywalker” may be the only big-screen “Star Wars” adventure we see for a while.

So what does the future hold for “Star Wars”? Will Disney shake up the Lucasfilm leadership or take over the making of “Star Wars” content themselves? How long before we know what new films will be like? Can the fandom ever come back together?

“The Rise of Skywalker” trailer raises much for “Star Wars” fans to ponder. Let’s hope the movie doesn’t just answer those queries but also kicks a lot of booty.

Thanks to Fat Cats in Rexburg for providing screenings for movie reviews on EastIdahoNews.com.

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