That low, rumbling, squelching sound you’re sensing at the edge of your hearing is nothing to be alarmed by; it’s just the collective peoples of the internet simultaneously excitement-soiling their pants because a new trailer for the next Star Wars movie has been released. As is required by the Jalopnik by-laws, I will now scrutinize the trailer for information about droids and spaceships and other vehicles or robots. It looks like we have some new things to talk about!
Oh, in case you’ve yet to see the trailer for what they’re calling Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, grab a rag to clean off your eyebones and have a watch:
Exciting! Now, because of our organization’s staunch pro-droid position, I’d like to focus first on what appears to be an all-new type of droid in the trailer. We can see the droid here, palling around with the well-examined astromech droid, BB-8:
So, let’s see what we have here. It’s quite a small droid, with what appears to be a conical-shaped head mounted to a C-shaped arm/axle unit that supports a solitary wheel. This group shot gives a better sense of the scale of this new droid:
It looks like it comes up to C-3P0's knee joint there, making it somewhere around, oh, 15 to 17 inches high, or so? I suspect that the green-bezel’d object at the cone’s apex is some sort of optical sensor, with the three slots on the upper surface of the head perhaps holding additional environmental sensors. The pair of antennae on the head I suppose are used for some manner of wireless communication. There must be some droid standard for this stuff, as BB-8 has a couple antennae himself.
The question is, what does this droid do, other than continue the smaller/cuter evolutionary trend we’ve been seeing in non-humanoid droids in the Star Wars universe?
Based on the small size, I don’t think this is another sort of astromech robot like the R- series or BB-8, as those droids require a large variety of tools and arms to accomplish their many and varied jobs. Droids like R2-D2 have a barrel-shaped body with plenty of room for these tools, and BB-8's spherical body also provides space for appendages, as we’ve seen.
Since the shape of this new droid’s head reminds me of those old Mad Magazine Spy vs. Spy characters, I’m going to call this an SVS droid, because why not.
It’s possible there could be some room inside that wheel for arms or tools or other components, which could also explain why it only has a support arm on one side—maybe the other side needs to be free to have panels that open?
It sort of reminds me of those annoyingly slapsticky Pit Droids from the prequel movies, at least in scale, but it doesn’t really seem like a repair droid. Maybe it’s for communications and networking, or something? Surveillance? I guess we’ll find out.
UPDATE: Thanks to a tip from commenter Skyfire77, We know the droid’s name! It’s D-0 (pronounced “dio” it seems), and I was wrong about the optical sensor, as that part looks clearly like some sort of vent:
Perhaps an olfactory sensor? Does it cook?
The droid was said to be based on the look of a duck, and it will be pals with BB-8.
The purpose of the droid has yet to be revealed, though. A working physical one has been built, and has shown up to fan events. Good to know!
That’s the only really new droid in the trailer, so let’s move on to spaceships. I believe the TIE-variant we see Rey attempting to fight, all by herself, is new, as it has the elongated and bifurcated “wings” of the TIE Silencer Kylo Ren flew in The Last Jedi, but the main spherical central body is very different.
Where the TIE Silencer had a very sleek, sinister central module, this one appears to be ruggedized and cladded in that orange armor plating or whatever that is. It looks less sleek and fast, but much better suited for nearly scraping along the desert surface like it’s doing in the trailer. It looks, you know, trail-rated, or like a TIE with the X-Treem Overlanding package.
We also get a good look at the main flight controls of the TIE, which appear to be these two big handles. If we go back to 1977's original Star Wars, we can see that Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced fighter used essentially the same control scheme:
I guess if it works, why change it? I never knew what Vader was doing with that fussy little knob, though:
I’m assuming adjusting the seat heater or changing the radio station.
There’s other interesting spacecraft to spot here, like what I believe is an A-Wing, seen in The Return of the Jedi:
And, speaking of Return of the Jedi, we also see these floating skiff things:
...which seem a lot like Jabba the Hutt’s skiff vehicles used on Tattoine, when they were headed to give the Sarlacc a snack:
The trailer also gives us some nice views of our old favorite, the Millennium Falcon:
There does seem to be a slight difference here. In the last movie, The Last Jedi, we saw the Falcon had its old round parabolic antenna replaced with a rectangular one up on top:
From what I can tell in the picture of it going to lightspeed above there, it looks like that antenna has once again been replaced with a round one. Make up your mind, people!
There’s also an interesting shot that appears to show the wreckage of one of the Death Stars:
Based on the wet-looking climate and the lack of Ewoks, I’m guessing this may be the wreckage of the first Death Star on Yavin 4? I wonder if they have a commemorative plaque or a gift shop around there anywhere.
I suspect we’ll be seeing more ships, more droids, more everything in the coming months, and I’ll do my best to evaluate and scrutinize it until you want to puke.
That’s a promise.