UPDATE: Read our full Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker trailer breakdown.
The Death Star makes a surprising return in the Star Wars 9, with the wreckage of the Empire’s second superweapon seen in what has to be the seas of Endor. After much anticipation, the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker has released, and along with the laugh of the Emperor, it also sees his pet project make an unexpected appearance.
One of the biggest criticisms of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was that it relied too heavily on repeating the story beats of the original Star Wars, right down to the presence of First Order superweapon Starkiller Base – literally described as the Death Star but even bigger. Many feared this could happen again with Star Wars 9 given J.J. Abrams’ return, especially as the repurposed footage from Episode VII that will be used to bring Carrie Fisher back as Princess Leia is likely from a cut subplot about Resistance weapons.
Related: Star Wars 9: The Big Lesson JJ Abrams Must Learn From The Force Awakens
The trailer for Star Wars 9 confirmed that superweapons will have a role to play in The Rise Of Skywalker, although not in the way anybody predicted. The end of the trailer shows Rey, Finn, Poe, C-3PO, BB-8, D-O and Chewbacca on a cliff overlooking a sea and some familiar wreckage. That’s the second Death Star and this planet is either the forest moon of Endor from Return of the Jedi or Endor itself (although we’re inclined to say the former).
The second Death Star was destroyed by Lando Calrissian flying the Millennium Falcon in Return of the Jedi, marking the beginning of the end for the Galactic Empire: it coincided with the deaths of The Emperor and Darth Vader, and just a year later in canon, the Battle of Jakku saw the Rebels emerge victorious.
This isn’t the first time that Disney-era Star Wars has flirted returning to the Death Star II’s wreckage. Early concept art for Star Wars Episode VII has the character Kira (who eventually became Rey) swimming through the space station looking for scrap. This idea was eventually transitioned to Rey scavenging Star Destroyers on the desert planet Jakku, and now it looks like Star Wars 9 is using the other side of it, with the character Kira became taking a team to the superweapon. That concept is also why it seems safe to say that the planet is Endor – the concept art made very clear this was the Death Star submerged in a sea of the forest moon.
If we are returning to Endor, that would still only make Rey and co. the second group of sequel characters to visit the Ewok planet – Kylo Ren must have come here before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to retrieve Darth Vader’s mask (which is rumored to return in Star Wars 9).
Next: Who Is Laughing At The End Of The Star Wars 9 Trailer? (It’s Not Snoke)