13 Key Details About Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker That We've Gotten Our Hands On
By now, hopefully you've adequately processed Star Wars: The Last Jedi and are looking forward to what's to come (unless of course you're one of those people). The second film in the trilogy came out way back in December 2017, but thankfully, the conclusion to Rey, Finn, Po, and the rest of the galactic gang's story is approaching.
Fans who have been waiting to catch a glimpse of the emotional ending were finally gifted with the first teaser trailer for Episode IX on April 12 and the first poster on Aug. 24. To say things look intense would be quite an understatement. Although the film won't hit theaters until later this year, it's never too early to look ahead, and there are already plenty of key details about The Rise of Skywalker already floating around.
The newest teaser finally revealed that the title of the film is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — an apt name considering this will be the end of the battle-scarred Skywalker saga. It should come as no surprise that the title remained elusive for so long. Return of the Jedi was shot under the name Blue Harvest and billed as a horror movie. Attack of the Clones pulled a similar move, calling itself Jar-Jar's Big Adventure (though that was more a response to everyone's burning hatred for Jar Jar Binks). Abrams's The Force Awakens was also shot under the title AVCO (aka the name of the theater where he saw the first Star Wars film as a kid), so of course they kept Chapter IX's title under wraps for as long as possible.
J.J. Abrams returned to the Star Wars franchise to write and direct the film. Abrams was celebrated for launching the new trilogy in 2015 with The Force Awakens, which Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy cited as their reason for welcoming him back to the fold. Abrams replaced Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow, who was ousted from the project following the debut of his widely panned drama, The Book of Henry (don't worry, Trevorrow is staying busy directing Jurassic World 3).
Abrams served as cowriter for The Rise of Skywalker alongside Chris Terrio. Terrio's past screenplays include Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League. Trevorrow and Derek Connolly will also receive cowriting credits.
The New AND Returning Cast
The cast for The Rise of Skywalker is packed with familiar faces from the new trilogy — John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver — but new actors are joining the fold as well. Not only is Keri Russell playing a character in the new film, but Billy Dee Williams will be reprising his role as suave smuggler Lando Calrissian.
A New Creature
Meet Babu Frik! Lucasfilm shared a look at the creature in October, describing him as a "tiny droidsmith" who "works among the Spice Runners of Kijimi and can reprogram or modify virtually any droid, regardless of the security measures protecting its systems."
Carrie Fisher Will Make an Appearance
Despite early reports that the late Carrie Fisher would not make a posthumous appearance in the final movie, General Leia Organa will return. While discussing the film at a panel, Abrams confirmed that he wrote new scenes around existing footage of Fisher from The Force Awakens, which we get a glimpse of in the trailer. He refused to use CGI, believing it simply wouldn't feel right. Using old recordings was the only option if he wanted her in the movie. "The craziest part is how not crazy it feels," he said. "She's there in these scenes."
Your Faves — Rey and Finn — Will Reunite
During an April 2018 interview, John Boyega first confirmed that he and costar Daisy Ridley would be together again onscreen, saying, "Daisy did shoot me a text saying, 'Oh my gosh, I just heard from J.J. [Abrams], and we're back together.' That's what I'm really excited about, is Finn and Rey back together again." The trailer and photos show their characters hugging it out, so we can only imagine their reunion will be pretty epic.
Palpatine — the previous Dark Lord of the Sith who looks like a withered lemon and also went by the moniker Darth Sidious — was played by Ian McDiarmid in the first two trilogies, and has been thought to be dead after being taken out by Darth Vader in 1983's Return of the Jedi. But the end of the teaser for The Rise of Skywalker includes his chilling laugh, confirming his reappearance in the series. Did he actually die in that explosion in Return of the Jedi? Will we be seeing his Force ghost? Or did he miraculously survive and is now older and more deformed than ever?
Given how The Last Jedi wraps up, there are plenty of theories about the next installment popping up all over the internet. From hypotheses about a time jump to the real truth about Rey's parents (sorry, we don't buy that whole "they were nameless peasants" story, Kylo) you can check them all out here.
Rey and Kylo Ren face off in this dramatic poster with a looming Emperor Palpatine in the background.
The Teaser Trailer
The D23 Trailer
The Release Date
The new installment will officially hit theaters on Dec. 20, 2019, which is almost exactly two years after the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.