Are you excited for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?
By Daniel J. McLaughlin
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Luke Skywalker stepped out into the light of the Tatooine suns, and the Star Wars adventure began.
In 1977, Star Wars became part of cinematic history with the release of 'A New Hope'. At the end of the year, the Skywalker saga will end.
A new trailer has been released to promote the movie, as well as the unveiling of its title: 'The Rise of Skywalker'.
While many fans of the sci-fi saga are excited by the movie, others are concerned on whether it will deliver the goods.
Bloomberg argues that the new trailer "heartens [the] Star Wars faithful" after a tough year, giving fans "something to be excited about".
They report: "After a challenging year - marked by a box-office flop, declining merchandise sales and infighting among Star Wars faithful - Walt Disney Co. restored some enthusiasm with a teaser trailer and a mysterious new title for the series’ latest movie."
The new trailer, they say, has "all the trappings", from a quirky robot to lightsaber heroics, as well as the return of old characters (Lando Calrissian and potentially the villainous Emperor Palpatine).
They argue that there are reasons to believe that 'The Rise of Skywalker' will rekindle interest in the movies. These include the return of JJ Abrams to the director's chair, and Disney giving the film "breathing room".
However, Forbes' Dani Di Placido argues that it is hard to get excited for the latest installment of the Star Wars movies.
He likens the sequel trilogy to the parlour game 'Consequences?', where bored people concoct an "inevitably mismatched, nonsensical story".
Di Placido writes: "The original trilogy (and even the much-maligned prequel trilogy), had a wonderfully structured story arc that perfectly unfolded across their three films.
"George Lucas may have tweaked his initial structure along the way, adding and subtracting ideas here and there, but his iconic space opera felt wholly organic, a perfect example of The Hero's Journey."
In contrast, the sequels have used three different storytellers to craft the trilogy - with Di Placido arguing it is "lacking an overarching blueprint".
He compares it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which carefully crafted its films and never strayed from the 10-year grand plan, something that has paid off.
Di Placido concludes: "There’s likely to be another awkward tonal clash in The Rise Of Skywalker - in fact, it’s already there, in the title.
"Abrams certainly had his work cut out for him in this film, having to please a (largely) disappointed fanbase and wrap up the unexpected loose ends."
'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' is the ninth film in the Skywalker saga. It started all the way back in 1977 with the original Star Wars movie, which was later retitled 'Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope'.
It was followed by 'The Empire Strikes Back' in 1980 and 'Return of the Jedi' in 1983. Star Wars returned 16 years later with the prequel trilogy, starting with 'A Phantom Menace' in 1999, and then 2002's 'Attack of the Clones' and 2005's 'Revenge of the Sith'.
There are also two spin-off movies: 'Rogue One' (2016), set between 'Revenge of the Sith' and 'A New Hope', and 'Solo' (2018), featuring a young Han Solo.
The film franchise has expanded into other media, from video games to novels, animated television series to theme parks.
Star Wars creator and director George Lucas sold his production company Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Company in 2012. This meant that Disney had also acquired the franchise.
Star Wars returned with a sequel trilogy in 2015, bringing back fan favourites - including Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker - as well as new characters in the ninth episode, 'The Force Awakens', directed by JJ Abrams. It was a commercial and critical success.
'The Last Jedi', directed by Rian Johnson, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, as well as making over $1 billion at the box office. It did, however, divide fans.
The final installment of the Skywalker saga - 'The Rise of Skywalker' - will be released in UK cinemas on December 19. It will be released in the United States on the following day.