While it’s not the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the new footage Disney showed off at its D23 conference this past weekend is a whole lot more illuminating. It’s got plenty of fan service, packing in snippets from every previous film in the nanology (even the bad ones!). It’s got the late Carrie Fisher and yet another showdown between Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey (Daisey Ridley). But most of all, it’s got an enticing addition to the Star Wars lightsaber canon.
Sure, you could pick apart individual screenshots from the trailer. Maybe there’s an important plot giveaway in there. But rather than throw bones with C-3PO’s red eyes or a gaggle of Imperial Star Destroyers, let’s luxuriate in the footage’s real star: that double-bladed, collapsible lightsaber! It joins a proud lineage of non-standard energy swords, from Mace Windu’s inexplicably purple blade to Kylo Ren’s glowing crossguard action to Darth Maul’s extremely dope double-sided model.
Rey’s model seems at first like a more practical version of the latter; it offers at least the same reach, but can fold up into a sort of double-lightsaber, which presumably helps avoid scuffing up the floor with kyber crystal plasma. But couldn’t you also just turn it off when you’re not using it? And is there any benefit to having two parallel blades, other than slicing through something twice for some reason? Or if you hold it sideways you could slice it once in two different locations. Either way, seems like maybe overkill? When it’s collapsed like that, do you have to hold both handles to effectively wield it? Seems tricky. And since each half of the lightsaber comes with a full-length hilt, it can’t be that comfortable to carry around. Also results in a pretty wide middle section.
OK, yes, most of the attention has focused the fact that it’s red, and she’s wearing a dark cloak, so maybe she enlists with the dark side at some point in The Rise of Skywalker, or at least entertains the idea. But why waste time pondering her motivations and plot arcs—whoever her parents turn out to be, you’re going to be disappointed—when you can nitpick the most purely fun moment in the two minutes, 11 seconds Disney doled out today?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes out December 20. Hopefully, when it does, we’ll get the latest in lightsaber innovation. Move fast and break Siths.