The premiere of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker may be six months away, but it’s all we can think about. Well, it’s all I can think about — I don’t know about you. One of the things I’m still trying to unpack is a mysterious location only glimpsed in the Rise of Skywalker trailer which could prove to be more important than we think.
This, my friends, is the exact reason we should stop writing it off or waiting for the movie to tell us what the location is and try to figure it out for ourselves. This mystery location could be integral to answering questions around new characters, like the rogue Zorri Bliss (played by Keri Russell), or how Palpatine will return. We need answers ASAP about this planet if we’re going to get any firm grasp on what to expect from the final chapter in the Skywalker saga.
So, this is the shot from the Rise of Skywalker trailer we need to pick apart:
Very few planets have been introduced into the Star Wars world that look so ominous and rough in both the terrain and the vibe. This helps to narrow down the best options for guessing which planet it may be. So here are three possible options, and what each of them means for Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
4. The Mysterious Location in the Trailer Is Kijimi
Thanks to Vanity Fair’s Rise of Skywalker-themed photo shoot back in May, we may already have the answer. One of the photos released was of the scoundrel Zorri Bliss. The background shown in Zorri’s photo featured the dark skies, snow, and fog, which seemed similar to the mystery shot from the trailer. Captions from the VF shoot confirm Zorri is standing in the Thieves’ Quarter on the new planet Kijimi.
Not much is known about Kijimi other than the fact that it’s a home to some of the galaxy’s most rogue characters. If the shadowy location seen in the trailer is, in fact, Kijimi then we might get a better look at where Zorri comes from and how she gets roped into the main story. Her motives are still a mystery but as with many characters in the Skywalker saga, often where you come from determines what side you’re on and what you’re fighting for.
3. No, Actually This Mysterious Location Is Eadu
Redditor u/diagonaloctagon argues the mystery location full of fog and craggy rocks is Eadu. We first saw Eadu in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In that film, Eadu was established as a scientific research base overseen by Palpatine where the Death Star was developed. Eadu is also a location for Kyber crystals, the Force-aligned crystals both Jedi and Sith would use for building their lightsabers.
With Palpatine poised to return in some way to Rise of Skywalker (Force Ghost? Actual resurrected Palpatine? His consciousness in a cloned body? Who knows!), returning to Eadu would make sense. There is likely still experimental superweapon technology to be taken from the research base and it could be further revealed that base is still functional, preparing for Palpatine’s return.
2. Wait, We’ve Got It All Wrong Because It’s Really Vandor
All of the snow on the steps in that VF photo has left me wondering if Rise of Skywalker is primed to return to a key location from Solo: A Star Wars Story: Vandor. In Solo, Vandor served as the location for Han, Beck, and the crew to pull off their coaxium heist. The location featured plenty of snow and rocky terrain, which certainly scans with what’s being hinted at in the photo and in the trailer.
Admittedly, Vandor doesn’t immediately offer anything valuable to the Rise of Skywalker story. The planet did once serve as a key outpost for the Empire when it came to transporting coaxium but it’s unclear what infrastructure remains their now. Vandor could function as a safe haven for the Resistance (if they’re still wandering the galaxy) or it could be a hideout for either Rey or Kylo. There might even be some hyperfuel still lying around somewhere just when our heroes need it most.
1. Maybe This Is Just a Completely New Planet
As is often the case when it comes to speculating on an upcoming Star Wars film, there’s a chance that every theory is wrong and the truth will be revealed during the film. Considering this is a new location with little to no context clues provided in the VF photo or the film trailer, we might all be surprised to learn this is a never-before-seen (or theorized-about) planet.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters December 20, 2019.