It’s been a few weeks since famed photographer Annie Leibovitz blew our minds with a series of epic photos from the set of Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker, but fans are still pouring over those pictures for clues about Episode IX. The Vanity Fair photo spread featured one particularly iconic image of Rey and Kylo Ren in the middle of a lightsaber battle, and a closer look might just reveal a major spoiler from Rise of Skywalker and the fate of one of the most iconic hunks of junk in the galaxy: The Millennium Falcon.
Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker below.
Rey and Kylo Ren have been at odds since The Force Awakens and that doesn’t look to change in Rise of Skywalker. There’s been a lot of discussion surrounding Rey’s arc in the film (such as the identity of her true parentage), but the movie will surely delve deeper into her strained relationship with Kylo. The image showcasing their lightsaber battle may take place at the height of their feud and the location of their potential duel may be one that proves important to them both (for different reasons).
Redditor u/Slim_Jim_86 posted the photo and, while they didn’t point out it was necessarily the Millennium Falcon they’re standing on, the implication is definitely there. Some fans in the comments section agree that it could be and upon closer inspection, it does resemble the beloved ship. The ridges of the ship, as well as the color, seem to match.
Han Solo’s beloved ship hasn’t been seen since The Last Jedi (it made an appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story obviously, but that’s not part of the new trilogy so it doesn’t count). Considering Lando Calrissian’s return in The Rise of Skywalker and the film’s focus on Rey and the Skywalker name, a lightsaber battle on top of the Millennium Falcon would be fitting. Plus, it’s never been done before, most likely because Han would’ve never allowed it on his watch, and that’s refreshing.
The Millennium Falcon means a lot to the Star Wars franchise and also to fans. It’s been around since A New Hope and carries a lot of history, adventure, and nostalgia with it. With Han’s death in The Force Awakens, could this fight atop the famed ship be foreshadowing its demise? It’s possible. After all, The Rise of Skywalker is the end of an era for the franchise and that could the mean destruction of one its most iconic symbols.
Of course, there are other options besides the Millennium Falcon. Rey and Kylo could be fighting atop an AT-AT, which makes sense considering that it’s a combat vehicle and would work well as a moving set piece during the action sequence (like in Revenge of the Sith). The battle could also take place on the surface of the destroyed Death Star we saw in the Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker trailer.
Of course, this is all assuming the scene ends up in the film at all. After all, the photos taken by Annie Leibovitz were commissioned to stir intrigue and aren’t confirmed to appear as a part of any actual scenes in The Rise of Skywalker — just like that picture of Luke Skywalker looking totally alive. But either way, the Millennium Falcon will surely have a central presence in the film as the final curtains draw.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.