The trailer confirms several early reports that the late Carrie Fisher would still be starring in the film, despite passing away shortly after the completion of the previous movie in the series, thanks to an entire secondary storyline filmed for The Force Awakens that was cut for time.
The trailer also features the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, as he takes control of the Millennium Falcon in live action for the first time time since using it to destroy the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi (1983), although he has since voiced the character in animated series and video games.
Tantalisingly, the film also features the voice of Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor, despite his death in Return of the Jedi, and a shot of what appears to be a large chunk of the second Death Star lying on the surface of (presumably) Endor. This is interesting from a plot perspective since that is also where the Emperor died, suggesting that the characters may find a key to defeating the First Order and Kylo Ren in the place where the Empire was defeated the first time around. McDiarmid also joined a Rise of Skywalker panel at a Star Wars convention this weekend, suggesting that his role may be more than just a voiceover,with some fans theorising he will return as a dark Force ghost to banter with Rey.
Some may take issue (I certainly did!) with a large chunk of the Death Star II apparently surviving the end of Return of the Jedi, which may be worthy of more exploration at another time.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams, will be released on 20 December 2019.