It's really happening!!
Star Wars Celebration introduced fans to the cast, both new and old, of Star Wars Episode IX, which premieres this December.
Then the lights dimmed, and the world saw a teaser trailer -- and learned the very exciting title of the newest installment in the Star Wars saga.
PLEASE take note: this post contains spoilers for the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode IX.
The teaser opens with darkness and heavy breaths.
It's Rey, standing in a desert while wearing white and visibly steeling herself.
Echoes of Luke Skywalker's voice can be heard.
"We've passed on all we know," Luke says, while the camera pans to Rey's lightsaber -- one that she must have built herself.
"A thousand generations live in you, now," Luke's voiceover says as Rey draws her weapon.
In the distance on the planet, the distinctive buzz of TIE fighter type vehicles can be heard.
"But this is your fight," Luke's voice says with encouragement as Rey braces for what is coming.
As the First Order vehicle races along the sand-covered terrain towards Rey, she runs, only to do a massive backflip.
She ignites her lightsaber's blue (that's significant!) blade, and flips through the air.
It's clear that the First Order pilot is in for a rude awakening.
Viewers are then treated to a series of shots of planet surfaces, ships, and familiar faces.
Notably, Kylo Ren, his faulty red lightsaber in hand, subdues an unknown opponent who appears to be wielding a crude melee weapon.
In the background, a First Order trooper appears to be participating in the fight.
We also see a repaired and modified version of Kylo's infamous mask, now laced with red.
He does not appear to be wearing it during any of the trailer's scenes, however.
Lando Calrissian makes his cinematic return, piloting the Millennium Falcon.
Most emotionally evocative of all, we see scenes of General Leia Organa, portrayed by the late, great Carrie Fisher.
As promised, these are not motion capture scenes, but made from unused footage from the first two films.
Watching these powerful scenes in theaters is going to exact an emotional toll upon us all.
"We will always be with you," Luke's voice promises.
Then, as Rey and her companions -- including Finn and Poe -- look out upon what may be the remains of the second Death Star, Luke makes another promise.
"No one is ever really gone," he assures Rey, acknowledging that those closely connected to the Force can endure beyond physical death.
This is when the most surprising moment of the teaser occurs.
Viewers hear wonderful, terrible laughter -- distinctively belonging to the best character in all of Star Wars canon: Palpatine.
Finally, the trailer reveals the film's title: Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
At Star Wars Celebration, after the lights came back on, the audience exclaimed with joy -- because there was a new actor on stage.
That actor was Ian McDiarmind -- who plays Emperor Sheev Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious.
(Everyone has their preferences, but he plays one of the most iconic and best-conceived characters in all of fiction)
Plenty of people's eyes (mine included) teared up with joy at this stunning surprise.
Obviously, fans have so many questions.
Who is the "Skywalker" mentioned in the title? Is Kylo Ren going to foresake the Dark Side and claim his birthright as a descendant of Anakin?
Or is Rey secretly, somehow descended from the Skywalker lineage, despite what appeared to be clear denials.
And speaking of Rey, where did she find the kyber crystal that powers her new lightsaber?
How much time has passed in the story since the end of the controversial The Last Jedi?
What role will Palpatine play in the film? Will his return, engineered through technology or perhaps Sith sorcery, make him the final villain?
For that ... we'll have to wait for the premiere this December.