The Rise of Skywalker: Here’s what we know…

Of course you have straight up watched the trailer about twenty times. Right. Or is it just me.

There’s no doubt the anticipation is palpable — it’s the end of a nine film, three trilogy arc of the Skywalker family. So its big. And despite what you think of The Last Jedi (I, for one am a fan) there is a lot of information to be gleaned.

Here’s the biggest moments from our first look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and everything we can glean about the epic finish to the Skywalker Saga.

Luke’s lightsaber returns

In one of the more unusually firm statements from the tight-lipped cast during the hour-long Episode IX panel at Star Wars Celebration 2019, Daisy Ridley confirmed that Luke’s lightsaber — Anakin Skywalker’s weapon, passed down to him by Obi-Wan — “lived.” Now we know why she was able to be so emphatic about it: It’s one of the first things we see in the trailer. If you remember it was pulled apart in The Last Jedi and thought to be lost. But eagle-eyed fans (or people who have watched the trailer multiple times…) will notice before Rey pulls it off her tunic you can see it has been put back together with a collar around its centre.

A shot of Rey wielding onto Luke’s lightsaber as enemies approach. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Kylo’s helmet reformed

You will note also in The Last Jedi that Kylo had some anger issues and smashed the iconic helmet to pieces in a rage. Star Wars: The Last Jedi put the volatile Kylo Ren through a destructive crisis of identity, including a tantrum in which he slammed his helmet — one of the most iconic images of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens and a symbol of Ren’s devotion to his grandfather, Darth Vader — against a wall until it shattered.

In the teaser we see that helmet repaired and reformed, with a vivid red material highlighting those cracks, an even stronger metaphor for Kylo Ren’s fragile control of himself.

Kylo Ren’s helmet. Lucasfilm Ltd.

D-O, our new droid friend

During the panel, we met a frankly adorable new droid D-O, who rolled on its single wheel across the stage. Here’s our first look at them on film, playing comedic partner to BB-8. May this new buddy sell many, many toys.

If you thought BB8 was cute (and he is) this droid that we found out during the Celebration panel was based on a duck — its the new droid we’ve been looking for.

BB-8 and D-O just hangin’ out. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Lando Calrissian is back

We’ve known for months that Billy Dee Williams would return to the role of Lando Calrissian for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and the trailer shows us footage of him in a familiar yellow and black shirt. In the trailer we see the veteran actor in motion, back in in the pilot seat of the Millennium Falcon, even. Let’s face it, Chewbacca’s piloted the Millenium Falcon by himself for long enough following Han Solo’s murder in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so a familiar friend is joining him at the helm.

Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, piloting the Millennium Falcon. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Remembering the Medal of Bravery

You remember how triggered we were in a A New Hope when Chewbacca didn’t get a medal. We all remember those shiny medals that Luke, Han, and apparently Chewbacca (off screen, yeah right!) received at the end of A New Hope? It’s okay if you didn’t, it’s been a while. Here we see someone holding a very well-maintained version. And it looks as though Leia is holding it. And this brings us to that part in the trailer where we see that…

A shot of an old medal. Lucasfilm Ltd.

Carrie Fisher is back playing General Leia

We all mourned the loss of Carrie Fisher in December 2016 and thought that there would be no possible way she could come back for the last installment of the saga.

J.J. Abrams confirmed that Princess Leia would have a presence in Episode IX without the use of CGI last year. He expanded on that in the panel at Star Wars Celebration, saying that the production had decided to write around footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens that had been left on the cutting room floor. As we can see from the teaser, that footage appears to include a scene between Leia and Rey, presumably shot as part of a scene on the Resistance base on the planet D’Qar.

Leia (Carrie Fisher) hugs Rey (Ridley). Lucasfilm Ltd.

The trilogy leads are finally united

“This is an adventure that the group goes on together,” Abrams told the audience before the screening of the teaser, adding that he was most excited for fans to see Finn, Poe, Rey, and Rose all in the same place, as they have rarely been so far in the trilogy. Well, here they are. But what are they all looking at?

The gang’s back together. Lucasfilm Ltd.

A shipwrecked Death Star

They all appear to be gazing a starship ruin, one big enough to make a gutted Star Destroyer (like the one that so dominated the first teaser for Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens)look like a toy in a landfill. Those characteristic curves and telltale trench can only mean one thing: A fallen Death Star, either the one from Star Wars: A New Hope or Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

But believe it or not, that was not the biggest gasp of the teaser.

Is that the dish from the Death Star? Lucasfilm Ltd.

Palpatine is back?

That came a moment later, when the clip closed with a peal of cackling laughter — very familiar cackling laughter.

Ian McDiarmid appeared at the very end of the panel in confirmation. The actor, who first took up the role of Emperor Palpatine in 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (and would later return for the Star Wars prequel trilogy as Senator Sheev Palpatine), has returned to portray the Sith lord once again.

Although whether Palpatine managed to bodily survive being thrown down a pit in a Death Star that later exploded in the vacuum of space — or if he’s just here as a force ghost, a vision, a recording or what … well, we’ll have to wait for more information.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on Dec. 20, 2019. In case you need to watch the trailer again, here it is.