Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker trailer is here

Emperor Palpatine's iconic cackle echoes through the galaxy once more. And Lando Calrissian's looking dapper as ever.

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Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker is coming to theaters in December.

Star Wars

The circle is complete. Lucasfilm revealed Star Wars Episode 9's title, The Rise of Skywalker, on Friday to kick off Star Wars Celebration Chicago.

The Rise of Skywalker trailer opens with Rey standing in the desert. "Every generation has a legend," it reads, echoing the 1998 trailer for The Phantom Menace.

Then, a hint Rey may be in communication with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

"We have passed on all we know, a thousand generations live in you now," Luke says in a voiceover. "But this is your fight."

Rey is then seen speed-wielding her blue lightsaber (seemingly repaired after The Last Jedi) and backflipping onto a ship that looks a lot like Kylo Ren's TIE Silencer. We don't see his face in the cockpit though.

Further shots show Kylo repairing his helmet; a quick look at a laughing older Lando Calrissian on the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca; Finn and Poe in the desert; BB-8 with cute new droid Dio; Rey embracing Leia; and what look to be remnants of a destroyed Death Star battle station.

"No one's ever really gone," Skywalker says, just before we learn that might apply to the light and dark sides of the Force.

Watch this: Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker trailer tees up saga's culmination

Then comes a cackle Star Wars fans know well -- Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Could the true evil of the galaxy, Darth Sidious himself, be back decades after Darth Vader threw him to his death on the Death Star in Return of the Jedi?

McDiarmid stepped onto the Celebration Chicago stage after the trailer ended, apparently confirming Palpatine's return. 

"Roll it again," he said in the signature croak he gave Palpatine.

The actor made a fun reference to this moment during Monday's panel celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, where he played a younger version of the character.

"Friday, I just happened to be in the area," McDiarmid said. "So I thought I should just drop in for a laugh."

The title, first teaser trailer and more details were revealed as director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and cast members took the stage to deliver delicious hints about the movie.

Abrams said he's currently in the editing and visual effects stage of the film, but did give a plot tease.

"This movie, it's about this new generation, and what they've inherited, the light and the dark," Abrams said, seeming to reference Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Issac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).


A first look at the start of an adventure from Star Wars Episode 9.

Star Wars

Abrams noted that the new film will not take place immediately after The Last Jedi -- some time has passed -- but that Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa will be a part of the story as previously confirmed.

"You don't recast that part and you don't have her disappear," Abrams said, noting that the team found a way to work with her even though she's no longer with us. "What if we could write scenes around her," the director said, regarding the process of finding a way to include Leia in the film.


J.J. Abrams noted that despite Carrie Fisher no longer being with us, he worked with her a lot for Episode 9. 

Star Wars

Legacy cast member Billy Dee Williams took the stage to note his Lando character has never left him, and that joining the new movie was a surprise. We also got a shot of Lando in one of his signature flashy outfits.

"I get sick and tired of getting accused of betraying Han Solo ... he was up against Darth Vader, he had to figure something out! By the way, did anybody die?" Williams quipped on stage.

Naomi Ackie joined the stage with the cast to reveal her new character Jannah. While very little is known, she did tease that her character will be on a "wicked" adventure. When moderator Stephen Colbert asked if Jannah is Lando's daughter as has been rumored, she neither confirmed nor denied.

"Lando is a very charming man, so he can have children all over the universe," Ackie teased.

John Boyega revealed that thanks to the time jump, Finn is now going to be a full-fledged Resistance fighter, with a new haircut to boot.


Finn and Poe having a light moment in Episode 9.

Star Wars

But regarding his longtime nemesis Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), Boyega confirmed he has closure. 

"Phasma, yeah, she dead," Boyega said.

Could the actor be faking us out?

Oscar Isaac's Poe is seen being close to his bestie Finn in a new photo from the film, with Isaac noting that Poe is very serious about their friendship.


Daisy Ridley's Rey in a new outfit for Episode 9.

Star Wars

A new outfit for Rey was revealed when Daisy Ridley spoke during Star Wars Celebration, with the actress noting that Rey may not have read all of the Jedi texts she took from Ahch-To.

"As we saw those books are pretty large, she may have started," Ridley teased. She deflected questions about whether she has any new Force powers, though.

Ridley did reveal though that Luke Skywalker's lightsaber did survive the events of The Last Jedi, so looks like that legendary blade -- made by Anakin Skywalker during The Clone Wars and passed down through generations -- is coming back into play after splitting in half in Snoke's throne room.


Adam Driver's Kylo Ren in Episode 9.

Star Wars

And a look at Adam Driver's Kylo Ren was also teased, with Ridley revealing that scenes involving Kylo will keep the character clothed, as opposed to the shirtless telepathic conversations the two had in The Last Jedi. However the two likely will keep some version of their personal connection, although Ridley couldn't say much.

"I guess the Kylo and Rey thing ... we'll have to see," she said. 


Meet new droid Dio. 

Star Wars

And BB-8 will have a new friend in the form of the droid Dio, who rolled out onto the Celebration Chicago stage.

Of course, Hamill himself had a cheeky tweet ready for the title reveal.

"It's not #EpisodeIXFromHisNap or even my suggestion: #EpisodeIXABunchMoreStuffHappens- It'#EpisodeIXTheRiseOfSkywalker!" he wrote. "It's time for the 8 months of speculation to begin. Is that Skywalker KYLO? LEIA? ANAKIN? LUKE? A previously unknown SKYWALKER? Is REY a Skywalker? #CoolTitle"

Star Wars: Episode 9 premieres Dec. 19 in the UK and Dec. 20 in the US and Australia, If you want to catch up or revisit the saga in the meantime, check out our guide to watching all the movies online in chronological order.

Celebration Chicago runs through Monday. Here's what you should expect from the rest of the weekend.

Star Wars Celebration Chicago cosplay

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