The final film in the nine-episode Star Wars saga now has a title - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - and a teaser trailer, with both being revealed at a Star Wars Celebration event held in Chicago over the weekend. Watch the trailer below.
Naturally, the internet went into overdrive dissecting the new footage and all the other information that emerged from the event, like the fact that there is a jump of an unspecified amount of time since the ending of The Last Jedi and a glimpse of a new creature called Klawd. Here are the rest of the highlights ...
What does the title mean?
Just because we know what the movie is called, it doesn't mean we know the significance of The Rise of Skywalker. Theories doing the rounds include the possibility that Rey (Daisy Ridley) is a Skywalker after all or that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) will be redeemed (i.e. return to his Skywalker heritage) or that Luke (Mark Hamill) will rise again in some form. Or perhaps it's not talking about a specific Skywalker and just using the name to indicate a movement or legacy. Or maybe it's referring to Luke's lightsaber, destroyed in the previous film, which Rey uses in the trailer.
Princess Leia will be in Episode IX
Despite the tragic death of actress Carrie Fisher during production of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, her character, General Leia Organa, will appear in The Rise of Skywalker thanks to footage that was unused from Episode VII: The Force Awakens. “It was impossible. There was no way. What are you gonna do? You can’t recast that part, and you’re not just going to have her disappear.” director J.J. Abrams said at the event. “The idea was what if we could write scenes around her, so she could be in the movie, and we have her performance,”
Is the Emperor alive?
He died at the end of Return of the Jedi - or did he? Darth Vader's boss, the Emperor, can be heard laughing at the end of the teaser trailer, right after Luke says in voiceover "No one's ever really gone". And actor Ian McDiarmid appeared at the Star Wars event, suggesting we might just see his evil character in some capacity in the new film.
Lando is back ... and flying the Falcon
A character we'll definitely be seeing in Episode IX is Lando Calrissian, with Billy Dee Williams returning as Han Solo's former friend/double crosser. Played by Donald Glover in origin movie Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lando has not been seen in the main series since Return of the Jedi. And he might show up with a daughter in tow. Actress Naomi Ackie, who plays new character Jannah, had this to say when asked if she's Lando's offspring: “Listen, Lando is a very charming man, so he could have children all over the universe, am I right?”
Is that Endor?
Some of the footage shown at the event featured the main gang - Rey, Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and the droids - in a jungle setting, leading to speculation that the film will revisit the forest moon that's home to the Ewoks. In the trailer, part of a Death Star is seen crashed into the ocean. Endor was pretty close to the weapon of mass destruction in Return of the Jedi.
The film will wrap up the Skywalker saga by delving into the past
From familiar faces to relics from previous films - like the medal Leia presented to Han Solo (below) at the end of A New Hope - the new film will tie up all three trilogies. As much as it will be a new story featuring the adventures of the current crop of characters, it also promises to pull together story strands and characters from throughout the history of the series.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in cinemas on Thu., Dec. 19