Random thoughts: (a) What is that, Wadi Rum again?; (b) Here we go again…more money, more legend-spinning, more earnest expressions; (b) I don’t get the leaping backwards into an oncoming bad-guy star fighter; (c) How come Oscar Isaac has no close-up?; (d) Nobody hates C3PO more than myself; (e) when, if ever, will Hollywood Elsewhere embark on a Lawrence of Arabia camel trip that will include camping in Wadi Rum for a couple of days?

HE to J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson: Luke Skywalker lives within the realm of The Force, but is otherwise dead. Rey is the inheritor but not his daughter or any immediate blood relation. (Or did I miss something?) There are no other Skywalker descendants, no Skywalker army, no Skywalker cult or tribe.

So what the hell does “The Rise of Skywalker” mean?

If it means Kylo Ren (grandson on Darth Vader) is going to turn from the Dark Side and became a last-minute hero…I really don’t care. I feel zero investment in the guy, and could never understand why he wore that Vader mask in the first place.

One implication is that Luke will return from the dead like Lazarus or Jesus but c’mon…is there any end to this? When Obi-wan died, he stayed a spirit and didn’t “rise.” Is there any such thing as any super-character in any CG-driven tentpole fantasy EVER ACTUALLY DYING? (Han Solo doesn’t count — he’s mortal.) Storytellers have to respect for what each and every living thing (human, animal, vegetable) has confronted and come to respect as natural and immutable, which is that when death comes calling and the curtain comes down, THAT’S IT. But the infantilizing of the fantasy realm by the Sons of Lucas (the original infantilizer along with Spielberg) constantly defaults to “NO, HE/SHE ISN’T DEAD…HE/SHE LIVES AGAIN!”

If Luke is indeed toast and staying that way, then I take the last paragraph back. But if it he’s toast, what does “The Rise of Skywalker” mean?

To go by the trailer, an alternate title could be “The Rise of Carrie Fisher.”