'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' Trailer Music May Tease Kylo Ren's Ending

The direction of Kylo's story might lie in his musical cue.

Music has always been an integral part of the Star Wars movies ever since George Lucas hired John Williams to write the score for A New Hope. So is it any surprise that the music in the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker might just contain a huge spoiler for how one character’s story will play out? Here’s what the teaser may reveal about Kylo Ren’s arc in Episode IX.

Warning: Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.

Starting in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren has had his own theme music. That theme evolved along with his arc, but it’s always exemplified the darkness that has followed Kylo ever since his introduction. Now, a fascinating new theory suggests that the score from the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer may be teasing a lighter version of Kylo’s theme that may hint at his redemption in the final movie of the Skywalker saga.

The trailer for The Rise of Skywalker could have played any other musical score, but it was Kylo’s they chose to use. It’s already known that Kylo will play an integral role in Episode IX, and many fans are already speculating that his storyline involves some sort of redemptive arc. Redditor u/24231122 posits that the change from a darker theme to a slightly more inspiring one is the biggest clue the film has yet to offer about a potential redemption story.

Kylo's original theme in 'The Force Awakens'

“The change in the music and the fact that it’s Kylo’s theme specifically that plays with “The Rise of Skywalker” instead of any other piece of music hint at Redemption,” they write.

The shift in key is slight, but the change is obvious if listened to closely enough. (Watch the new trailer at the top of this page.) The Episode IX trailer version of Kylo’s theme is far more uplifting and hopeful. Whereas, in The Force Awakens, his musical cue sounds much more dramatic and menacing. The trailer music alone makes it seem more likely that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Kylo, arguably one of the most divisive characters among fans.

Kylo has had a tumultuous journey over the course of two films. Although he’s done some pretty horrible things — like killing his own father, Han Solo, and torturing and manipulating Rey in The Last Jedi — the Star Wars movies have also made it a point to showcase his struggle between the Light and Dark sides of the Force. In the vein of other characters, such as Game of Thrones’ Jaime Lannister or Serena Waterford from The Handmaid’s Tale, Star Wars often explores the idea of what makes a person evil and whether they can be redeemed.

Do Kylo’s previous actions bar him from redemption? Is Kylo inherently evil, or is it just the Dark side that messed with his head? Either way, Kylo is afforded a lot of perspective within the narrative, and there’s no doubt Rise of Skywalker will focus on him once more. Though there’s no way to tell whether this particular theme will be heard in the film, the fact that they chose to use Kylo’s musical cue definitely implies his story could take a turn toward the Light side of the Force before the entire saga comes to an end.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.