The first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrived on Friday, giving fans their first look at the upcoming conclusion of the Skywalker Saga which began with A New Hope all the way back in 1977 and to say that the short, two-minute teaser gave fans a lot to digest is an understatement. A new droid, Lando back in the pilot's seat of the Millennium Falcon, even the fallen husk of a destroyed Death Star all appear in the trailer, but there are some more interesting references as well -- including a familiar medal.
In The Rise of Skywalker trailer, there's a brief moment where we see someone -- presumably Leia -- holding and caressing a gold medal with a design on it that looks very much like a stylized version of the symbol of the Galactic Republic. The brief moment in the trailer makes it very clear that the medal is of significance, especially for whoever is holding it. The question is, then, whose medal is it?
For most Star Wars fans what the medal is isn't a mystery at all. It's the Medal of Bravery, the same type of medal that Leia bestowed on Luke Skywalker and Han Solo at the end of the original film. That scene was a triumphant one, with the Rebel Alliance having scored a huge victory over the Empire by destroying the Death Star. However, with The Rise of Skywalker taking place many years after that joyful moment on Yavin 4, that medal may have far deeper meaning. Both Han and Luke are now gone. Han was murdered by his own son, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens while Luke's end came during The Last Jedi.
With Leia surviving them both, it honestly could be either Luke or Han's medal though we're inclined to think it's likely Han's. Not only would Leia's relationship with Han make it more likely that she'd have the medal somewhere, but given that it's hers and Han's son who has become the villain in this chapter of the story, the idea that Leia might be holding onto the medal and thinking back to happier and more hopeful times is just one that makes sense.
Of course, the question of whose medal that is is only one of the questions we have after seeing the trailer as well as the title's reveal. That title alone comes with its own questions and even Finn actor John Boyega admitted he doesn't know exactly what it means, though Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo suggested that perhaps the title ties into the promise that The Rise of Skywalker really will close the story that started long ago in a galaxy far far away.
"It's so mysterious," Suotamo said. "It speaks to the promise that we're going to see an end to the story that started in 1977."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters December 20th.
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