Everything You Need To Know About Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
It’s hard to believe that nearly two years have passed since 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Audiences flocked to cinemas on the release date, and as any Star Wars fan will tell you, simply hearing that glorious theme song was enough to leave their eyes wet with the tears of nostalgia.
Episode VIII continued to honour the saga’s rich legacy, but it also expanded on it by adding a number of surprising twists. The adored Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) returned to the screen, only this time he served as a mentor rather than the student of Jedi training. He grappled with failure in this new role, but as the film progresses – and with thanks to Rey’s persistence to learn from the “last jedi” – the mentor-student dynamic that runs throughout the franchise continues.
It made for entertaining viewing, with the new heroes the franchise introduced earlier going through new trials and tribulations that will inevitably shape who they become in the future films. But above all, the movie seemed to abandon rules with director/writer Rian Johnson taking a number of risks. The movie began with most audiences thinking they knew its trajectory, but by the end this was completely flipped on its head.
Which brings us to Episode IX. Titled Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, the film is expected to conclude the Skywalker saga that has entertained fans for decades. Anticipation for the upcoming film is high, as can only be expected, but here’s everything you need to know about the film.
What are the plot details?
The initial teaser for for the film begins with the narration of Luke Skywalker, “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now.” Serving to set up the beginning (and possible end) of the Skywalker saga, the trailer did reveal that the familiar cackle of Emperor Palpatine will return. Apart from that however, plot details are relatively scarce.
During the Star Wars Celebration event earlier this year in Chicago, director JJ Abrams said that the film doesn’t pick up immediately after the events of Episode VIII. “This is an adventure that the group goes on together,” said Abrams. “One of the great things about the movie was the dynamic between the characters. They are the most wonderful together, and that’s the thing I’m most looking forward for you to seeing.”
Many have also been speculating what the film’s title means for the Skywalker storyline. It’s unclear who the title refers to as, in The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren told Rey that her parents were “filthy junk traders who sold you off for drinking money,” as opposed to her being descended from the Skywalker dynasty as was previously suspected by fans.
Some have since suggested that the title might then refer to Kylo Ren, being the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa (Luke’s sister), after all. But of course, being a Star Wars film, we wouldn’t be surprised if the writers had a few twists and turns up their sleeves.
In a recent interview, Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey) said that the “question” surrounding Rey’s parentage “is answered” in The Rise of Skywalker. She also said that tonally, the film will be different to tis predecessors.
As Radio Times reports, Ridley said of the film: “Genre-wise, it’s different from the other two, which will become clear when the film comes out. It’s quite emotional. There’s a different drive than the previous two films, but there’s a lot of fun. I really missed John (Boyega) during the last one, but we’re back together and now Oscar (Isaac) is part of it. To me, it felt like kids going on an adventure.”
A more recent trailer released at Disney's D23 event revealed little in the way of concrete plot details, but did plenty to get Star Wars fans rabid with speculation once again. The most talked-about moment? The potential reveal of Rey as a Sith under Palpatine's control, but there's more to suggest that it's probably a misdirect. As a sheer spectacle though, it's shaping up to be a visual marvel.
Who is directing the film?
After finding himself at the helm of The Force Awakens in 2015, it’s since been revealed that JJ Abrams will again find himself in the directing chair of a Star Wars saga, with Episode XI.
Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, said in a statement: “With The Force Awakens, JJ delivered everything we could have possible hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy.”
Prior to Abrams taking up the position, it was originally claimed that Colin Trevorrow of Jurassic World fame would serve as writer/director. However, Trevorrow left the project in what LucasFilm claimed was a mutual decision to part ways.
It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all. pic.twitter.com/138AprtFuZ— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) 15 February 2019
Who wrote Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?
Trevorrow and his frequently collaborator Derek Connolly, wrote the first draft of the script. However, Jack Thorne (scribe of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) was later hired to rewrite it.
Since Abrams took over as director, it’s believed that the original script has been entirely scrapped. A new one was written by Abrams and Academy award-winning screenwriter, Chris Terrio who also worked on Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League.
Who will be starring in the film?
Familiar characters will return to the film, seeing Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, Domnhall Gleeson and Lupita Nyong’o all star. And of course we can’t forget about the likes of Joonas Suotomo (Chewbacca) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO).
Carrie Fisher will also be remembered posthumously with a starring role in the film as General Organa (better known as Princess Leia). This is all thanks to previously unused footage shot for The Force Awakens. Fisher’s daughter gave her blessing for the film to use such footage, allowing the original Star Wars actor to star alongside other long-standing members, Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian).
Speaking of Fisher’s inclusion in the film in an interview with Radio Times, Mark Hamill said, “Something tells me she’d get a real kick out of the fact she had a hit movie years after she left us. That was just her.”
The Americans star Keri Russell will also be playing a new character in the film – “masked scoundrel Zorri Bliss” – and will be joined by other newcomers, Dominic Monaghan (Lost), Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth) and Richard E grant. It’s also believed that Doctor Who star, Matt Smith, will be joining the cast in an undisclosed “key role.”
Who is the new villain?
Given that both Supreme Leader Snoke and Captain Phasma were killed off in The Last Jedi, Episode IX will be bringing in some new villains. And according to news from the official Star Wars YouTube channel, this villain takes its form in the Sith Trooper. The use of the word ‘Sith’ links this film back to older episodes, where the religious order of the Dark Side was represented by Darths Sidious, Maul, Tyrannus and Vader.
Of course, Emperor Palpatine will also be returning in the upcoming movie, and it might just be the case that these Sith Troopers work closely with the Emperor.
When is Star Wars Episode IX released in cinemas?
Returning to the tradition of the Christmas blockbuster, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in cinemas on December 19, 2019. Originally intended for an earlier release, production of the film was delayed due to behind-the-scenes issues.