Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: Episode IX
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Star Wars Daily: Celebration premieres new footage and new Skywalker questions

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Apr 13, 2019

In place of STAR WARS WEEKLY, the SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the most important news of the week from a galaxy far, far away, we’re doing daily roundups from Star Wars Celebration. We’re still your own personal Star Wars Holocron, just more frequently this weekend.

RISE OF SKYWALKER

At long last, Star Wars Celebration gave us a title and the first look at Episode IX. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set quite some time after the events of The Last Jedi and appears to be absolutely bonkers.

The trailer raised a lot of questions, but none more curious than why we hear the iconic laughter of Darth Sidious at the end. There are a number of possibilities, but the one I think most likely is that this is really something going on in the mind of Rey or Kylo Ren. In The Force Awakens, when Rey touched the Skywalker saber, she heard echoes of the past, including the fight between Vader and Luke. In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda tells us that a Jedi can hear things like the future, the past, and old friends, long gone.

Add those bits of information to the fact that Rey and Ben were able to interact with each other in a theater of the mind in The Last Jedi, and you have a compelling reason we’d hear the laughter of Palpatine without breaking Star Wars. If Palpatine isn’t just a feint for the trailer, this might be the most likely answer.

Some might say he’s a Force ghost, but I have my doubts about that possibility. It was said that Sith don’t get Force ghosts because of their selfish nature. Those same people might offer up the example of Darth Bane from his appearance in The Clone Wars, but I think he’s a Force vision, rather than a Force ghost, leaving us in the same place we were before.

Naturally, there are a hundred other possibilities, and we won’t know until we see the movie.

The other biggest question: What does the title mean?

Who is the titular Skywalker? Snoke mentions this prophecy about someone rising in The Last Jedi. “I warned my young apprentice that as he grew stronger, his equal in the light would rise. Skywalker, I assumed. Wrongly.”

But maybe he’s only half wrong. What if Rey takes up the mantle of a Skywalker symbolically? What if Ben Solo eschews his place as Kylo Ren and resumes his place as a Skywalker? What if the ghosts of Luke and Anakin Skywalker return? What if the Jesus parallel that began with Anakin in The Phantom Menace is complete with his resurrection?

Any of these could literally be the case. Or all of them could be. It’s anyone’s guess until the movie comes out.

If you want to, you can watch the whole panel below. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes out in December.

VADER IMMORTAL

ILMxLab had the misfortune of following up the panel for The Rise of Skywalker, but managed to knock it out of the park as well.

A new trailer was revealed, giving more insight into what we’ll be seeing when we don our virtual reality headsets and take a step into Vader’s castle. It’s impressive.

The other big bombshell from the panel? Maya Rudolph is making her Star Wars debut as a droid named ZOE3. Vader Immortal is written by David S. Goyer, who appeared at the convention to hype the story. It comes out sometime this spring.

THE MUSIC OF THE PHANTOM MENACE

We'll have full coverage of the panel up soon, but here's a fun preview of Episode I aural goodness.

We continue our habit of honoring the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace by taking this extended look at video of David Collins explaining what he believes to be Qui-Gon’s theme.

Until tomorrow, May the Force Be With You!

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