Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker had a new trailer release this week, and while most Tweets are flipping over a pair of blades, another detail seemed to elude the masses. This isn’t the first time we’ve been around this track, so we’re well aware of the fact that Lucasfilm is more than willing to mislead with its trailers – but a bright red ribbon? How could it be anything less than a tip toward a detail of great importance?
The red ribbon appears around Rey’s hand in the new Rise of Skywalker trailer could be part of a moment in the story that has little to do with what we’ve found today. It could, however, be part of Disney’s grand plan to ease the masses into the idea that they’ll need to visit Disneyland in order to get their full fill of Star Wars story. Our clue comes from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
NOTE: The new trailer of which we speak, here, is at the end of this article. Scroll down and take a look if you’ve not seen the entirety of this video already. Your eyes may fixate on the extra-lengthy red lightsaber – but don’t be fooled! We’re looking at the tie around Rey’s left hand as she catches the lightsaber that’s blue!
Part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge experience at Disneyland takes place on a planet called Batuu. Rey is one of several “walkaround” characters at the park, one who’ll act completely in-character and respond as such when approached at the park.
This iteration of Rey exists between Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. She’s at a point where she’s just left the Battle of Crait at the tail end of The Last Jedi, before she reaches the point at which we first see her in the final film.
“Rey, a hero of the Resistance, may be seen near the ancient ruins outside Black Spire Outpost,” said a description of the park in May of 2019. “She is recruiting Batuuan locals and visitors alike to the Resistance cause.” Rey is also set to appear near the waiting line for the “Rise of the Resistance” ride/experience just outside what’s called “Black Spire” village. This ride will open in December of 2019 – just before the movie The Rise of Skywalker.
Attendees like Hastin Xaranthyr have gone so far as to create their own in-character personas to attend the park. Sort of like cosplay for a comic convention or full-garb renaissance regalia for a renaissance fair. That character also appears as @Hastin and it’s often difficult to tell the truth from fantasy.
The gallery above shows the story of another, similar traveler who rolls through the park and makes it their business to share their experience with the world. The Black Spier, here, shares a story that might just be too on-point to ignore. Keep in mind this was apparently an off-the-cuff conversation had with the actor playing Rey at Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Disney park) in July of 2019.
The red bit of material might be so innocuous as C-3PO’s red arm in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The story behind the red arm is not important to the main movie-based plot – so why not just give him his standard gold arm?
Because Disney and Lucasfilm’s plans for Star Wars expand well beyond the movies. They’re making movies that are perfectly aware of the fact that there are fans watching who’ll go the extra mile to investigate any little detail that they see onscreen. The movies do not absolutely require the vast trove of details delivered in experiences offscreen.
There’s a one-shot comic about C-3PO’s arm released by Marvel Comics in April of 2016 – several months after the release of the movie in which the droid debuts said arm. The arm is back to normal (gold) by the time The Last Jedi is released in theaters.
The meaning of the red material on Rey’s hand might not be analogous to that of the ribbons on the wishing tree on Batuu. But the expanding universe Disney and Lucasfilm have borne is very much a reality. The idea that a bright red ribbon could mean nothing is far less likely now that the possibility that said ribbon is a real link to the universe outside the film series.
That’s a universe that’ll continue to expand as long as fans are happy to join in and engage. Given Star Wars’ past – that expansion might never end.
The film Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker will be released in theaters on December 20, 2019. That’ll also be called Star Wars Episode 9, the last of the so-called Skywalker Saga. Stay tuned as we continue to run down the details and suss out plot points before they’re public!