Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — New footage, release date, everything you need to know
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker release date, cast, theories, news and
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker – the Geek lowdown
Director: JJ Abrams
We’re expecting a good mix of the new faces seen in The Force Awakens andto make their return in the 2019 movie. :
- Daisy Ridley as Rey
- John Boyega as Finn
- Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
- Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
- Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata
- Kelly Marie Tran as Rose
- Domhnall Gleeson as Hux
- Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
- Jimmy Vee as R2-D2
- Billie Lourd as Kaydel Ko Connix
- Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
- Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa
- Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
- Ian McDiarmid as Sheev Palpatine
- Naomi Ackie as Jannah
- Richard E. Grant as Allegiant General Pryde
- Keri Russell as Rougish Zorri Bliss
- in an unnamed role
Stars: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid
The pitch: The ninth installment in the Skywalker saga, rounding off the third trilogy of Star Wars movies set in a galaxy far, far away.
Release date: 19 December 2019
A just-released TV spot provides snippets of fresh footage from the film, including a new glimpse at the Knights of Ren:
Meanwhile, the D23 ‘Special Look’ trailer begins with a highlight reel culled from the first eight films and featuring shots of all the beloved characters as well as some of the most iconic scenes from each of the movies. And then the new footage takes over, with a minute or so of intriguing snippets designed to leave us wondering what the hell it all means, and sure to fuel speculation ahead of the film’s release. Has Rey gone dark? You can watch it below.
You can read our breakdown of the new footage here – or check out the film’s first teaser, which offers even more glimpses of Rey’s new Jedi tricks, Poe and Finn’s epic adventure, Kylo Ren being as ruthless as ever and the return of a menacing – and familiar – evil laugh.
Everyone you expect to be in The Rise Of Skywalker is in it – and then some. Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (Hux), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Anthony Daniels (C-3P0) and Billie Lourd (Lt Connix) are all returning to their roles – alongside Mark Hamill, who has revealed that Luke will return as a ‘Force ghost’ (you can read more about Force ghosts here).
Images from the set reveal three new characters played by Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant and Naomi Ackie, while original trilogy veteran Billy Dee Williams will also make an appearance as Lando Calrissian. Grant reacted with exactly the kind of enthusiam we’d probably all have when the news was annouced, posting a video on Twitter of himself grinning like a loon. “OK. I’m trying to be cool about this,” he says, “but I’ve been smiling ever since!”
Most significantly, Carrie Fisher will have a posthumous role in the film, with Abrams using unused footage from The Force Awakens to include Leia in the line-up, presumably to give her character a proper send-off. Is bringing her back the best way to celebrate her legacy? Discuss.
A menacing laugh at the end of the first trailer and a guest appearance at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago revealed that Ian McDiarmid will be returning, in some form, as Emperor Palpatine. What could this mean for Rey? Check out our thoughts on the matter.
JJ Abrams is back in the director’s chair – taking over from Colin Trevorrow after yet another controversial Disney “re-hiring”. Last Jedi director Rian Johnson wrote a story treatment, but the script was revised by Trevorrow, Jurassic World writer Derek Connolly, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’s Jack Thorne, Batman V Superman’s Chris Terrio and Abrams himself.
“I had no intention to return,” Abrams told Rolling Stone. “But when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in VII. I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realise something that we hadn’t quite achieved – and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story. The opportunity to take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we began? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up.”
At the moment, no one knows anything for sure about the story details, but we can safely expect The Rise Of Skywalker to provide some kind of resolution to the arc that’s been playing out since The Force Awakens. Will the First Order be defeated for good? Will Rey’s bigger role in the story be revealed in full? And now that we know that Palpatine is back, what role will he play in the story? We just don’t know yet.
The Rise Of Skywalker picks up around one year on from where The Last Jedi left off, according to star Oscar Isaac. Luke is dead, Rey is getting stronger, the Resistance is rising and Kylo Ren has gone completely bonkers – without a master, in charge of a huge army, and hell-bent on wiping out everyone in his path. John Boyega has already hinted that Finn and Rey are going to be back together in the last part, which isn’t too much of a surprise given the pattern set by the middle chapters of the first two Star Wars trilogies – breaking up the main gang before reuniting them for the finale. If Skywalker is anything like Revenge Of The Sith and Return Of The Jedi, we can expect multiple storylines to intersect as the action builds and loose ends get tied up.
Talking of loose ends, the biggest, and most controversial plot twist in The Last Jedi saw the huge question of Rey’s ancestry answered with a bit of a shrug. Some loved it, some hated it, and a lot of fans are holding out hope that it was all a Dark Side ruse to throw us off the scent. Will we see Abrams undoing with Rian Johnson did? Elsewhere, the Knights of Ren will finally return in The Rise Of Skywalker, according to Vanity Fair, which published a cover story about the movie that reveals a few interesting titbits about this mysterious group of villains. The magazine also shared a photograph of the Knights of Ren on the Jordan set where the Pasaana portion of the movie was filmed.
“The ending of this trilogy of trilogies is a tricky thing,” Abrams told Total Film recently. “This movie has to work on its own. It’s got to have its own beginning, middle and end. It can’t make the mistake of a lot of sequels, where you just assume a character is beloved, where the movie suffers because the character is suddenly lacking. We can’t assume anyone cares.”
Star Oscar Isaac added “What’s amazing about the story and the script is that you learn that both the Sith and the Jedi have been playing a very long game. From the get-go, there’s been this chess match. All these pieces have been played. And now we get to see who gets checkmate.”
One faction of the iconic Storm Troopers will be getting a flashy new upgrade in The Rise Of Skywalker. According to the film’s pre-release merchandise previews, Episode 9 will be introducing the ‘Sith Troopers’ – a group of elite soldiers kitted out in crimson-red armour. There are no real details on how these troopers will fit into the story, but with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) now in charge as the First Order’s new Supreme Leader and on the hunt for what little remains of the Resistance, it looks like he’ll be employing some nattily dressed dark-side muscle.
One question that’s had many fans scratching their heads though is what, if any, link these troopers will have with returning big bad Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) – the dark lord of the Sith last seen plummeting to his supposed doom at the end of Return Of The Jedi. Fans immediately connected the dots, positing that these new Dark Side warriors would be somehow connected to Emperor Palpatine, whose appearance was teased in the film’s first trailer.
However, a more recent merch reveal looks set to disprove that theory. A Sith Trooper t-shirt previewed online described the scarlet soldiers thus: “Only the finest troopers in the galaxy…Under the strict command of Kylo and the Knights of Ren.” This suggests that the colourful squaddies will make up Kylo Ren’s own personal battalion of Storm Troopers, giving him even more of an edge against Rey and the depleted Resistance. And if Kylo is now claiming the term ‘Sith’, does that mean he’s now fully embracing the Dark Side’s traditions?
We were supposed to get a new Star Wars movie every Christmas. Then every summer. Then whenever they’re ready. Inevitably, the deadline for The Rise Of Skywalker was pushed back a bit and the film is now scheduled for release in UK cinemas on 19 December 2019. At the moment, that sandwiches it between action-comedy sequel Jumanji: The Next Level and starry musical adaptation Cats in the pre-Christmas release calendar – we have a feeling Abrams’ film will more than hold its own, though.