First up, here’s a new poster, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) facing off against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver):
The saga sizzle-reel is expected to be released online Monday and represents the first new footage of the J.J. Abrams film since the teaser trailer was released in April.
Images include a duel between Rey and Kylo Ren amid a stormy sea (transposed into a space backdrop on the poster). There’s a massive fleet of Star Destroyers. There’s a new shot of Darth Vader’s helmet. There’s Finn (John Boyega) and a new character named Jannah (Naomi Ackie) together in a cockpit. C-3PO with red eyes. A new glimpse of Leia (the late Carrie Fisher). A gang of heroes approaching a bustling desert city. But the shot that truly stunned the crowd was a scene with Rey in a hooded black robe revealing an unfolding red double-sided lightsaber (Darth Rey?!).
“It’s hard for me to understand the story is ending,” said Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) on stage at the Expo. “But what an ending. You’ll love it.”
Added Billy Dee Williams, who’s returning as Lando Calrissian for the first time since Return of the Jedi: “Lando has never left me. I’ve been here all these years, these 40 years, is a very special experience for me and I just want to thank you all.”
Newcomer to the saga Keri Russell said of her mysterious character: “She’s very cool and a little bit shady. She’s kind of a criminal and old friend of Poe’s.”
Director Abrams said of adding Leia into the film: “Of course, we can’t talk about the cast without talking about Carrie Fisher. And the character of Leia is really in a way the heart of this story. We could not tell the end of these 9 films without Leia. And we realized that we had footage from episode 7 that we realized we could use in a new way. So Carrie, as Leia, gets to be in the film.”
Continued Abrams: “But the crazy part is we started to work on this movie and I wasn’t supposed to be directing this movie [as Colin Trevorrow was originally tapped as director]. Then we lost Carrie. And I was hired on this film and began working. And I remember this thing that I had read that I actually thought I was mistaken. I looked in her last book, The Princess Diarist, and she had written, ‘Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ Now I had never worked with her before Force Awakens and I wasn’t supposed to do this movie. So it was a classic Carrie thing to sort of write something like that that could only mean one thing for me. We couldn’t be more excited to have you see her in her final performance as Leia.”
The Rise of Skywalker promises to conclude the nine-film saga that began with 1977’s A New Hope (or, going chronologically, 1999’s The Phantom Menace).
The film stars Ridley, Driver, Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Lupita Nyong’o, along with returning original trilogy favorites Mark Hamill, Fisher (via previously unreleased footage), and Williams, as well as Ian McDiarmid (expected to reprise his role as Emperor Palpatine), plus newcomers Naomi Ackie (playing a new character named Jannah), Richard E. Grant, and Russell.
Here’s the previous teaser trailer:
The Rise of Skywalker is set for release Dec. 20, 2019.