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Small details you missed in the final Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer

It has risen. 

On Monday, October 21, three groups of people were tuned into Monday Night Football on ESPN: those who wanted to watch the New England Patriots face off against the New York Jets, those who wanted to watch the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and those who love organized sports as much as they do galaxy-faring space operas. (They exist, believe us.) No matter why their televisions were fixed to the channel, everyone watching ESPN on Monday evening witnessed the final full-length trailer for The Rise of Skywalker.

Backed by a swelling score composed by the legendary John Williams, the final Rise of Skywalker trailer was bookended by two powerful scenes: Daisy Ridley's Rey running through a forest as she attempts to hone her skills with the Force, then the same fledgling Jedi looking straight at the camera as Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker says in voiceover that the Force will be with her... to which Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa adds "always."

In between that set of gut-punches was plenty more to drool over — like Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) saying he knows who Rey is better than anyone else does; Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) sitting co-pilot to Rey in the Millennium Falcon while Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) take their seats behind them; C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) taking "one last look" at his friends; and Resistance members banding together for high-stakes fights against the First Order.

But hidden within all this were a few things you may not have picked up on as you watched the trailer live (or when you rewatched it online thereafter). 

Fear not, fellow Star Wars enthusiasts, for we've taken a fine-toothed comb to this new footage for the Skywalker saga-ending movie. Here are the small details you missed in the final Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Lando Calrissian rounds up the Resistance

It seems the editors who put together the final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker took some inspiration from Where's Waldo?. A small detail that likely slipped right past your over-eager eyes was the fact that Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) was seen sitting in the center of a massive group of Resistance members — including the etiquette and protocol droid C-3PO, stationed behind Lando, and what looks to be Poe Dameron, standing just in front of him. Though he was sporting a bright yellow shirt, Lando could hardly be spotted in the sea of Rebels unless you knew to look for him.

A smooth-talking gambler and the original owner of the Millennium Falcon first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back as an old friend of Han Solo's (Harrison Ford), Lando aligned himself with the anti-Empire Rebels after Imperial baddies initially forced him to betray Han. In Return of the Jedi, the Baron Administrator of Cloud City became a general in the Rebel Alliance. 

Audiences haven't seen anything of Williams' version of Lando over the years (though Donald Glover portrayed a young Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story), but when Leia stated in The Last Jedi that she had Rebel allies "scattered" in the Outer Rim, many fans took this as a sign that Leia would reach out to Lando for help at the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker. By the looks of the trailer, this theory may prove true. We've already seen Lando back in action piloting the Millennium Falcon in the first Rise of Skywalker trailer; this new footage gives us a hint at the mission Lando could have organized that put him back in the ship he lost to Han Solo all those years ago. 

Might Lando be taking Leia's place as the leader of the Resistance following her possible death — something fans have speculated about since the passing of Leia actress Carrie Fisher? Could he be pulling forces together for just one of several missions the Resistance will execute in the last battle against the First Order? We can't say for certain, but our interests are certainly piqued. 

Rey and Kylo battle on the ruins of the Death Star

If there's one thing the Star Wars franchise knows, it's how to carry out epic battles. We've seen Obi-Wan Kenobi face off against Darth Vader in a fight that gave us one of the most goosebumps-inducing lines in the whole Skywalker saga — "When we last met, I was but the learner. Now I am the Master." We've watched Luke Skywalker fight his own father in a valiant attempt to pull him away from the dark side of the Force. We've witnessed Jedi lose limbs, fight on a tiny bridge above a river of lava, and continue to spit cutting lines at one another while staring death in the face ("If you're not with me, you're my enemy" is a memorable one). We've even seen a three-way duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Darth Maul, and recently watched a Force projection of Luke Skywalker straight-up school Kylo Ren in the visually gorgeous, emotionally profound final battle in The Last Jedi

But in The Rise of Skywalker, there's a fight that goes down between two complex characters in a place that's immensely important to the Star Wars franchise — and it's teased in the final trailer for the film. 

About a second of footage flashes at the 1:49 mark of the trailer, showing Rey and Kylo Ren locked in a standoff on what appears to be the ruins of the Death Star II, the second version of the Empire's moon-sized weapon ship that was destroyed in the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. (The original was obliterated in the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope.) 

Now, why would Rey and Kylo be on the small forested moon Endor at the same time? What — apart from their already incredibly tense relationship — would cause them to whip out their sabers and duel atop the rubble of the Death Star II? Well, Endor is where Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) died. Rey actress Daisy Ridley has promised that the pale-skinned Sith otherwise known as Darth Sidious is "very instrumental" to the plot of The Rise of Skywalker. Sounds like the thought-to-be-dead Emperor might have something that both Rey and Kylo are after... which could explain why Rey is also seen in the final trailer for the film confronting Emperor Palpatine.

Rey confronts a foe... who could be her father

You heard that right, friends: The final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker teases a meeting between Rey and Emperor Palpatine, whom many Star Wars fans believe could be the rising Jedi's biological father

Rey's real parentage has remained a hot point of conversation within the Star Wars fandom — even after The Last Jedi saw Kylo Ren tell Rey through clenched teeth that she's the daughter of a pair of nobodies who sold her for drinking money. From the moment fans heard Emperor Palpatine's unmistakable cackle in the first Rise of Skywalker trailer, speculation that ol' Palpy could be Rey's father took on a life of its own. Believers of this theory have pointed to the existence of "dark Rey," seen in the special-look footage of The Rise of Skywalker shown off at D23 in August 2019, as some of the strongest evidence that Rey is the fruit of the assumed-fallen Sith's loins. 

Now, even if The Rise of Skywalker doesn't reveal Palpatine as having any sort of genetic connection to Rey, it appears he'll have a psychological connection with her. Just as the trailer shows Rey standing opposite a dark figure that emits Palpatine's grating cackle, Luke Skywalker says in voiceover, "Confronting fear is the destiny of a Jedi." Rey has been putting blood, sweat, and tears into becoming worthy of Jedi status — and by Luke's own word, that means her destiny is to look fear directly in the face. Might Palpatine represent Rey's biggest fear — either learning the truth of her parentage by discovering he's her father, or staring down the physical manifestation of the dark side of the Force she knows she never wants to be tempted by? It's something worth thinking about.

The statue of Vader's helmet gets destroyed

At 1:51 mark in the final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, we see Rey and Kylo Ren both using their lightsabers to take a vicious swipe at the statue of Darth Vader's helmet. 

The moment happens quickly, with the signature headwear of Kylo's villainous grandfather already mid-shatter when the trailer cuts to the scene, but it still carries great significance. Not only does this represent the killing of an era in the galaxy far, far away on which Anakin Skywalker left a dark stain, but it also suggests that Kylo may be moving toward redemption in The Rise of Skywalker

Though Kylo's donning his own helmet and still wielding his cherry-red hilted saber, him slicing to smithereens the statue of Vader's helmet — something of a totem of the person he's spent years trying to emulate — hints at an evolution of sorts. Perhaps Kylo Ren — the son of Han Solo and General Leia Organa, the wayward nephew of revered Jedi Luke Skywalker — will be a Skywalker who rises in the forthcoming film. He has Skywalker blood in him, and he's exhibited signs of confusion over his alignment within the Force, so maybe The Rise of Skywalker will see the Skywalker in Kylo rise above his dark persona, pushing him to abandon his moniker, reclaim his birth name of Ben Solo, and battle against the First Order he currently leads. 

But, you know, that's just a guess.

Even the release date for the final Rise of Skywalker trailer holds significance

Though fans were pretty caught up in what was shown in the trailer, it wasn't lost on them that its release date was also significant. The final Rise of Skywalker trailer dropped on October 21, the late Carrie Fisher's birthday. 

Fisher, who died on December 27, 2016 after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles four days prior, would have celebrated her 63rd birthday on the day Disney and Lucasfilm unveiled the final trailer for The Rise of Skywalker. This fact is impactful on its own, but it holds even more weight when remembering that The Rise of Skywalker will include footage of Fisher as General Leia Organa that wasn't used in 2015's The Force Awakens — in a way bringing the late actress back to life for the concluding chapter in the Skywalker saga she had been an integral part of since the very beginning. 

Though plot details for the film are being kept behind the iron curtain at Disney and Lucasfilm, director J.J. Abrams has promised that The Rise of Skywalker will answer as many questions as possible, and will provide an "emotional and meaningful and also satisfying" ending to the space opera that started way back in 1977. (The franchise will, of course, continue on with brand-new films from The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson, former Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and Marvel Studios president and chief creative officer Kevin Feige.) Perhaps some of the mysteries The Rise of Skywalker is set to shed light upon will involve Leia — like how exactly she learned to channel the Force, how (and if) she'll pass the Resistance torch to the next generation, if she's really Rey's biological mother, and whether or not she'll reunite with her brother Luke Skywalker on the other side, joining him as a Force Ghost after his death in The Last Jedi

If Abrams is to be taken at his word, The Rise of Skywalker will answer all these questions. And if the final trailer for the forthcoming flick is to be taken at face value, fans are in for something beyond their wildest imagination when The Rise of Skywalker bows in theaters on December 20.