Rey and Kylo seem to destroy Vader's mask in final 'Star Wars 9' trailer

"Your coming together is your undoing."

With less than two months to go until The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, Star Wars fans have their last official look at what to expect from Episode IX. The third and final trailer for the movie debuted during halftime of the Patriots-Jets football game on Monday, showing us a hell of a lot of things we didn’t expect. Were those furry horses on the outside of a Star Destroyer? Was that Admiral Ackbar? (It was!) But most important of all, was that… Darth Vader that Rey and Kylo just shattered into a zillion pieces with their lightsabers?!

Even the most fastidious freeze-framing makes it hard to tell precisely what this object is, but it’s pretty clear that there’s a helmet-shaped top portion that flies toward the camera. Vader’s round eye-goggles and triangular snoot are rather clearly visible. But this object doesn’t seem to be a reincarnated Vader — it’s clearly too short, and also appears to be made of stone. But it may be some occult object used by Palpatine in order to allow him to return to life, or a kind of lightning rod for Dark side energy. Either way, it’s not Anakin himself — although the existence of this sort of Sith Horcrux suggests that we might get a glimpse of old Ani before The Rise of Skywalker is through.

Vader's helmet Rise of Skywalker trailer
That round, face-shaped rock sure looks familiar. 

This isn’t the first comparison Star Wars fans have made between The Rise of Skywalker and Harry Potter, and after tonight’s trailer, it surely won’t be the last. There’s been a lot of speculation that Palps pulled a Tom Riddle and inserted some of his life-force into various objects. Judging from this latest footage, it seems that Vader’s old mask might have been one of those objects, working its spooky-ooky Dark side magic on poor little Ben Solo while he was just a wee padawan at Uncle Luke’s Jedi Camp. What’s strange here is even though Rey and Kylo clearly seem to be working together, he still has his mask on. It may be that destroying this object is not only critical to destroying Palpatine, but destroying the Dark side’s control over Ben Solo.

Like any well-designed movie trailer, the latest look at Episode IX raises more questions than it answers. Judging from our analytics, you guys seem to care most about kissing and ghosts when it comes to Star Wars, which is… unexpected, but very interesting. We still don’t know for certain which Force ghosts might appear in the film — though Luke is all but certain, given that we’ve heard his voice-overs already and Mark Hamill confirmed his involvement ages ago. From the craziness on display in this trailer, it seems like anything’s possible. Sadly, there was no kissy time in this trailer, but it’s very clear Rey and Kylo are getting more comfortable with their connection to one another. Indeed, it seems as though the Emperor’s plan hinges upon bringing them together. (It’s probably not for a meet-cute.)

Tickets for The Rise of Skywalker are on sale now, and if you’re dead-set on seeing the film at a specific time in a popular location — or you just want to see it before social media becomes a wretched hive of spoilers and villainy — it might make sense for you to snag seats soon. That said, there are likely to be many, many showings during the week of release, so if you aren’t fussed about catching the movie as early as humanly possible, you probably won’t have much trouble finding a screening.

**Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes to theaters December 20.