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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker final trailer teases saga's epic conclusion

By Josh Weiss & Christian Long
Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker poster

We have a very good feeling about this...

Tonight, the third and final trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker finally dropped during ESPN's Monday Night Football. Tickets for the epic conclusion to The Sequel Trilogy went on sale earlier in the evening, fueling excitement for the last official look before it hits theaters on Dec. 20. 

Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, the ninth Star Wars episode will close out the epic tale that George Lucas kicked off back in 1977. Now, the Skywalker Saga is coming to a close after more than 40 years and three trilogies, and the new trailer isn't being shy about this landmark, lightsaber-filled occasion.

You can see it for yourself right here:

The good news is that it looks like The Resistance is better off than they were in 2017's The Last Jedi, which ended with them all fitting snuggly inside the Millennium Falcon. The bad news is that The First Order seems to have upped their game as well, not to mention Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid reprising the role) is bound to have something up his sleeve. 

The Rise of Skywalker brings back new trilogy favorites Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) while introducing newcomers including Jannah (Naomi Ackie), Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell), and Allegiant General Pryde (Richard E. Grant).

Co-stars include Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Lupita Nyong'o (Maz Kanata), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Billie Lourd (Lt. Connix), Dominic Monaghan, and Abrams mainstay Greg Grunberg (Snap Wexley).

Mark Hamill will return as Luke Skywalker, or presumably his Force Ghost, given that his character died at the end of The Last Jedi. And despite passing away nearly three years ago, Carrie Fisher will appear as General Leia Organa one last time via unused footage from 2015's The Force Awakens. Fittingly, the final trailer's release coincided with what would've been her 63rd birthday. 

Missing media item.

While we also got a new poster, which you can see above, neither it nor the trailer were terribly clear about the plot, particularly how Palpatine made it out of Return of the Jedi alive. Many fans have speculated that Darth Sidious could simply come back as a Sith Ghost in an effort to control Kylo Ren, possibly pitting him against Skywalker's spectral counterpart. That said, the Emperor does appear to meet Rey face to face in the trailer. But who know's what's real and what's a Force vision at this point.

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters everywhere Friday, Dec. 20. Tickets are on sale now