New Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage shows darker side of Rey

A double-bladed lightsaber stirs up the shock.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
2 min read

New footage from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hit Monday on Good Morning America, just days after fans got a sneak peek of the film at Disney fan expo D23. It's not technically a trailer -- Entertainment Weekly called it a "sizzle reel" -- but that doesn't matter to fans eagerly awaiting the ninth film in the Star Wars saga.

Rey's new look, complete with a brand new double-bladed red lightsaber, first revealed in the D23 footage, has earned plenty of fan comments and concern about the character possibly turning to the dark side.


If one lightsaber blade is good, two are better, right?

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

"I think that it should hopefully show people that we did a big old journey and we explored some things," actress Daisy Ridley said after the Disney panel, according to IGN. "So just you wait until the film."

The video begins with classic footage tracing the Star Wars saga from the days of baby-faced Luke and Leia onward, including a lovely shot of Princess turned General Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher. Director J.J. Abrams spoke over the weekend about how he used previously unseen footage to add Fisher to the film.


Emperor Palpatine looms as Rey and Kylo Ren battle on the movie's first poster. 


Fans have already seen a teaser trailer for the film. That preview, released in April, showed some additional Rey lightsaber action; a quick look at Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams); Rey embracing Leia; and some wisdom from Luke Skywalker. 

In addition to Ridley, returning stars include Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, 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, Naomi Ackie as Jannah, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and (thanks to archival footage) Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will open in theaters worldwide on Dec. 20.

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Originally published Aug. 26, 5:24 a.m. PT.