It’s here: The new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage that gives a first look at the climactic showdown between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) along with several other new intriguing shots (above).
The Episode IX footage is part of a sizzle reel first revealed to fans at the D23 Expo on Saturday in Anaheim, California.
Images include a duel between Rey and Kylo amid a stormy sea (that might be on the ruins of the Death Star). 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 in footage originally shot for The Force Awakens). 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.
Director Abrams said at the D23 Expo 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.”
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, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Lupita Nyong’o, along with returning original trilogy favorites Mark Hamill, Fisher, and Billy Dee Williams, as well as Ian McDiarmid (expected to reprise his role as Emperor Palpatine), plus newcomers Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell.
The Rise of Skywalker is set for release Dec. 20, 2019.
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