(WARNING: Spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker will be found below.)
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is officially in theaters, making the Skywalker Saga complete. But it turns out, you needed to be a gamer to get the full context for the opening scenes of the film set to dominate the box office this weekend.
Part of the massive marketing plan for Rise of Skywalker was an in-game event in Fortnite, the massively popular battle royale game made by Epic. In addition to special skins and other goodies, Fortnite held an event last weekend where a special clip from the now-released movie was debuted in the game’s Risky Reels.
Players who showed up to watch it and see director J.J. Abrams release the clip also got to choose their favorite color of lightsaber to use in the game, which is pretty cool. That event was delayed a bit by server problems Epic had when a crush of gamers flooded Fortnite to watch the show. But more than just the clip, the event had some other presentation elements, including a monologue from Emperor Palpatine. Here’s what he says during the event, which you can find unofficial clips of on YouTube:
At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith!
As Polygon notes, that threat wasn’t found anywhere in the trailers shown on TV or in the movie itself. Here’s what the opening crawl of Rise of Skywalker says, pretty clearly referencing a message heard in Fortnite last week but nowhere else in the Star Wars universe:
The dead speak! The galaxy has heard a mysterious broadcast, a threat of REVENGE in the sinister voice of the late EMPEROR PALPATINE.
This was probably not intentional — it’s likely something that was recorded for Rise of Skywalker, but wasn’t able to be included because of spacing or time constraints. But it does make for a very strange bit of extra context for Fortnite gamers that the rest of Star Wars fans miss out on. Until, well, reading this.