You can watch the entire panel here, or continue reading for the 5 biggest things we learned!
Content Warning: This post will involve impassioned but brief arguments concerning a Kylo Ren redemption arc. If you cannot handle that like a grown up then politely move on.
There is a new character named Jannah, which is basically also my name
I’m not letting something so inconsequential as a tiny little ‘h’ at the end ruin this for me. Janna isn’t the rarest name on earth, but it’s rare enough that I have almost never come across it in entertainment or literature. But to have my name (or the closest equivalent) be in FREAKING STAR WARS, and the character be this badass-looking queen, whom actress Naomi Ackie describes as “cool, fierce, and strong”? I’m just sitting over here with the other 3 Janna’s, smug as hell. Also this:
— Janna (@janna_rpw) April 12, 2019
There’s a lot of speculation that Jannah might be Lando Calrissian’s daughter. Something about a similarity in costume? And if two black characters are in one movie, they MUST be related, right?
Kelly Marie Tran Is A Queen
Kelly Marie was in the news last year after she deleted her social media accounts after months of online harassment. But there was nothing but love at SWCC when she walked onstage, with fans chanting her name and and giving her a standing ovation when she started speaking. She was visibly moved, and I was SO HAPPY that she was receiving the response she deserves. As the first WOC in the Star Wars films (she was also the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair) she should have been celebrated and embraced, not personally attacked because racist middle-aged asshats didn’t like her character. She publicly addressed the harassment in an editorial for The New York Times, where she emphatically and beautifully stated that she would not be marginalized.
…the same society that taught some people they were heroes, saviors, inheritors of the Manifest Destiny ideal, taught me I existed only in the background of their stories, doing their nails, diagnosing their illnesses, supporting their love interests — and perhaps the most damaging — waiting for them to rescue me.
I am not the first person to have grown up this way. This is what it is to grow up as a person of color in a white-dominated world. This is what it is to be a woman in a society that has taught its daughters that we are worthy of love only if we are deemed attractive by its sons. This is the world I grew up in, but not the world I want to leave behind.
LOUDER FOR THE RACISTS IN THE BACK, KELLY MARIE. *Insert 37 clapping emojis here.*
This title is breaking all of our brains with its ambiguity
The internet is already ugly-fighting over what this title means. Was Kylo Ren lying all along, and Rey is actually a Skywalker? Or does it refer to a new order of Force-sensitives who will collectively be referred to as “Skywalkers” as opposed to Jedi? Meanwhile, the Reylos are in the back screaming “IT’S BEN SOLO, DUMMIES!”. There are eight more months before we find out for sure, but let’s keep fighting about this, social media. Personally, I like this explanation:
It’s called “Rise of Skywalker” because Disney wouldn’t let them call it “Kylo Ren’s Raging Force Boner”
— leia (@rookpilot) April 12, 2019
This teaser trailer is giving me life, but also a headache
Lando! Poe in a hipster scarf! Repaired light saber! Rey’s parents’ spaceship??? Guys, I was having a really crappy week, but this trailer improved my mood 1000% and then some. Like any good teaser, it asks a plethora of questions and provides answers for exactly none of them. But there are a few things we know for sure: Rey has made A LOT of progress in the Force since “lifting rocks” at the end of TLJ. That running reverse jump/flippy move is a thing of beauty. Superfans are also confident that the foreboding wreakage in the ocean is the Death Star II, which was destroyed in ROTJ. And obviously…Leia. JJ Abrams revealed in the panel that that were able to use spare footage of Carrie Fisher from TFA, and that she lives on in this film in a beautiful way. Our princess. Our General. Cue tears. Again.
Once you’re tired of watching the teaser, my new favorite thing is watching fan reactions to the teaser. There’s something oddly heartwarming seeing grown ass fanboys brought to tears by footage of Leia.
The Greatest Evil = Darth Sidious ERGO Kylo Ren will be redeemed…ish
That creepy laugh at the end of the trailer took us all by surprise. JJ Abrams has confirmed that it was indeed Emperor Palpatine, somehow back from the dead to continue harassing the galaxy. And honestly, it’s genius. Palpatine was the primo baddie for the first six movies, and having him show up in the very last installment feels right. Almost poetic.
Now, in the panel JJ also references the characters joining together to face “the greatest evil” AND FOLKS I MUST NOW POINT OUT THAT IS NOT KYLO REN. Kylo has been valiantly playing at villainy, and he’s made horrible, unforgivable choices. But I don’t think they’ve spent two whole movies pointing out how conflicted he still is only to have him suddenly be the worst thing in the galaxy.
IS THIS YOUR IRREDEEMABLE VILLAIN?!! pic.twitter.com/7KGddy9bqd
— Jessica Bibi “The Darkling isn’t dead” Cooper 🌒 (@JessicaBCooper) April 12, 2019
Or even serving the worst thing in the galaxy. Mr “It’s Time To Let Old Things Die” bending the knee to ye Sith overlord of olde? I don’t buy it. General “Rabid Cur” Hux will, certainly. But I think when Kylo is confronted with the true, insidious evil of Palpatine, he will turn and aid the rebels in getting rid of the REAL villain for good.
Twitter backs me up on this, with SCIENCE.
This is, honestly, the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. A switch from minor key to major IS ABSOLUTELY MUSIC’S WAY OF SAYING HE’S A GOOD BOY https://t.co/IQtPv2G7Nj
— Psy-kylo-gy (@majin_melmo) April 12, 2019
I am IN NO WAY saying that Kylo should not have have to atone for his crimes, or that Rey should welcome him with open..er..arms. I’m just saying…the Resistance could use all they help it can get. If Kylo wants to turn from the Dark Side, they should let him. And that concludes my TED Talk.