Rey, Finn, BB-8 and Poe Dameron have been on an epic journey since 2015's . And in December, their adventure -- along with the entire Skywalker saga of nine movies -- will meet some kind of conclusion when comes to theaters.
Thanks to reveals made at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April, a big cover story published by Vanity Fair in May and a presentation atin August, fans now have the first trailer, looks at , a nifty poster and plenty of hints about what the Skywalker saga's conclusion is going to bring.
The movie has a lot to live up to. Director J.J. Abrams will need to find a way to offer an ending to the revived Star Wars movie universe followingand . Also, it's not like his Force Awakens -- some fans knocked it for evoking the original Star Wars film too predictably. He's also dealing with the challenge of keeping Leia Organa a central character despite .
But with the movie now in the editing stage, there's plenty of time before Star Wars returns to theaters. Here's everything we know so far.
Release date: When can I see Episode 9?
will hit theaters around the world on Dec. 20, 2019.
Have we seen any trailers or footage?
could hit the internet Monday -- debuted during Disney's D23 event.was shown during the Star Wars Episode 9 panel at the Celebration Chicago fan convention in April, while footage -- which
Is The Rise of Skywalker still filming?
Production has wrapped. Many of the actors announced the end of production on social media, and puppeteer Brian Herring and actor Anthony Daniels respectively, announced on Twitter that their roles have wrapped. The movie started shooting in summer 2018.embracing as shooting ended in February. Those who bring both droids BB-8 and C-3PO to life,
What's the story behind the director?
Originally, Colin Trevorrow was tapped to helm the movie, butover creative differences. However, unlike the director change that befell , where after were in production for six months, during preproduction.
Cast: Who will be in it?
We're expecting a good mix of the new faces seen in The Force Awakens andto make their return in the 2019 movie. :
- Daisy Ridley as Rey
- John Boyega as Finn
- Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
- Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
- 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
- Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
- Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa
- Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
- Naomi Ackie as Jannah
- Richard E. Grant as Allegiant General Pryde
- Keri Russell as Rougish Zorri Bliss
The official cast announcement on July 27, 2018, came just before the start of filming, confirming that Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams are back. It also noted that Fisher's Leia will return through the use of unseen footage from 2015's The Force Awakens. Episode 9 was originally supposed to heavily feature Fisher, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy confirmed to Vanity Fair, but Fisher died in December 2016. The studio further confirmed that it like it did for 2016's .
"Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie's legacy and role as Leia in Episode 9 by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII," J.J. Abrams said in the July casting announcement.
Abrams further elaborated on how this will be possible at Star Wars Celebration Chicago in April 2019.
"You don't recast that part and you don't have her disappear," Abrams said, mentioning a feeling of still working with her even though. "What if we could write scenes around her," the director said. The first teaser trailer shows an example of this, in which Leia is embracing Rey in one shot.
Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd will also have an on-screen reunion with her mother, with Vanity Fair reporting that. Lourd plays Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix in the Star Wars films, first appearing in 2015's The Force Awakens.
Naomi Ackie will play Vanity Fair preview. Keri Russell's character, the Rougish Zorri Bliss, could have a less clear allegiance as she appears to have a costume similar to bounty hunters like Boba Fett. Dominic Monaghan's Star Wars role has not been revealed as of yet. Matt Smith reportedly joined the cast, according to Variety in August 2018, but the actor has since shot the rumor down in an interview with the Los Angeles Times., but not much is known about her yet. Richard E. Grant's Allegiant General Pryde looks to be a member of the First Order, standing alongside Domhnall Gleeson's General Hux in a photo from the
Composer John Williams will score the movie, as he has with every numbered entry in the Star Wars saga.
And while it's not impossible for Harrison Ford to potentially return as Han Solo, there are no official announcements quite yet.
Plot: So, what's going to happen?
Abrams teased at Star Wars Celebration Chicago that the movie will focus on the newest generation of characters and what's been passed down to them. It'll also take place some time after The Last Jedi, allowing for characters to have grown a bit since we've last seen them.
"This movie, it's about this new generation, and what they've inherited, the light and the dark," Abrams said.
The latest trailer emphasizes this theme, showcasing Rey, Finn, Poe and the other stars of the sequel trilogy -- but in voice only we hear Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker and.
"We have passed on all we know, a thousand generations live in you now," Luke says in a voice-over. "But this is your fight."
But Palpatine's cackling laugh plays right after Skywalker says, "No one's ever really gone," possibly meaning that both light and dark Star Wars characters might be living on after death.
Other teases we've gotten about each of the characters, combined with light speculation:
Rey: After turning down Kylo Ren's offer to let both the First Order and the Resistance perish and instead conquer the galaxy together, Rey is last seen on the Millennium Falcon with the. Ridley said at Star Wars Celebration that it's unknown how much of those texts she would've read.
"As we saw, those books are pretty large. She may have started," Ridley said.
It's likely she'll continue her own version of Jedi training using a combination of the texts, personal practice and maybe some off-screen mentorship from Leia Organa. Also, she JUST MET Poe Dameron, so it's time to see what her dynamic with the flyboy might be. One other thing: Will J.J. Abrams choose to flesh out the story of her parentage, or will he keep her as an orphan who was sold off by her parents for drinking money?
Also, how did she get that white lightsaber we see her wield in the first teaser trailer? Or perhaps it's a blue lightsaber that's shining especially bright?
At D23, footage showed Rey battling Kylo Ren. She also wielded a new double-bladed lightsaber (like Darth Maul's). Given her use of a staff in The Force Awakens, this is a logical progression for her.
Finn: Finn is a full-fledged member of the Resistance when The Rise of Skywalker begins, actor John Boyega confirmed at Star Wars Celebration. Unlike in The Last Jedi, Finn and Rey arefor Episode 9. While he's fresh off defeating Captain Phasma, with Boyega even remarking that "she dead," actor Oscar Isaac said Poe takes his friendship with Finn quite seriously. A photo from Episode 9 shows the two in a light moment, so hopefully we are going to see how deep their friendship can get after the bits of chemistry we saw in The Force Awakens.
Kylo Ren: The new supreme leader of the First Order could be looking over his shoulder, making sure no one has any evidence he's the one who killed off Snoke. That said, after having his connection to Rey cut off by the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo might now be fully embracing his role as a Sith leader.
Vanity Fair did reveal that the Knights of Ren will be returning in Rise of the Skywalker, who were only otherwise seen in a flashback sequence during The Force Awakens. The group will wear large armor sets that are described by the publication as having a Mad Max-esque look, noting that one member even rocks a gun arm. The Knights were seen filming in the sunny desert, furthering that Mad Max comparison.
We do know one thing, in the teaser he's repairing his helmet and Ridley confirmed that we are no longer seeing shirtless Adam Driver a la the conversations Rey and Kylo had in the last movie.
Leia: We can expect Leia to still be a central part of the saga via a combination of unreleased footage and newly shot footage with other actors to bring Fisher back to life. After her gorgeous, surprising ability to fly through space using the Force left her in a coma, Leia woke up to finish off the movie, but her condition is otherwise unknown. Exactly how much Fisher we'll get is yet to be determined, but Abrams and Kennedy have repeatedly noted the effort to take great care with her depiction in this film.
What about the rumors?
There are a lot of rumors on the internet about Episode 9, including the possibility of some surprise appearances:
- Editors' note: Yahoo he's growing his hair out for the new movie, and we'll have to "wait for the trailer to see why." Adding fuel to this fire, a Boyega interview with Empire magazine appears to further confirm a time jump, with the print version saying "John Boyega has confirmed the film takes place roughly one year after the events of The Last Jedi." While it's not a direct quote, and it's possible Boyega wasn't meant to confirm this detail, it's perhaps the most specific statement we've heard regarding Episode 9's spot in the Star Wars timeline.
- Yoda appeared as a Force Ghost during The Last Jedi, and the New York Daily News says an "insider" revealed . Since Yoda in ghost form can also bring down a lightning bolt, it's awfully weird he isn't more involved in assisting Leia's Resistance.
- Many of the Black Squadron pilots who backed up Poe in the assault on Starkiller Base were absent in The Last Jedi, but Marvel's ongoing Poe Dameron comic book series revealed the mission Leia sent them on immediately after The Force Awakens. Greg Grunberg, who played Snap Wexley, recently hinted to Yahoo that he's "getting itchy to go over there and do it" -- a reference to his character's facial hair and Episode 9's filming location in England.
- Could Obi-Wan Kenobi, as embodied by Ewan McGregor, show up in Episode 9? According to The Sun's sources, McGregor is going to be secretly shooting scenes for it. While there's no way to vouch for this, McGregor did record a line that played in 2015's The Force Awakens super briefly that was meshed with a similarly sounding phrase recorded by original Kenobi actor Alec Guinness. The phrase wasn't much, McGregor remembered the result as "Rey, these are your first steps" during a 2016 appearance on The Graham Norton Show. Therefore, it wouldn't be at all shocking to see some version of Kenobi in Episode 9, but the real question is -- how much?
As more rumors pop up, we'll add them.
What other Star Wars things can I watch?
A lot, as long as you're willing to expand beyond the movies.
Disney Channel, takes place just before The Force Awakens. The show comes from creator Dave Filoni, who previously led the Star Wars Rebels series and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. While Resistance showcases new characters, it also features Poe Dameron and Capt. Phasma as voiced by Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, respectively., an animated series now airing on the
, originally canceled in 2013, is also getting revived with a new 12-episode season heading to the upcoming sometime after its 2019 launch.
, a and starring Pedro Pascal, is in the works, also heading for Disney's upcoming streaming service. And a has also been confirmed to eventually come to Disney Plus.
And if all you care about are Star Wars movies, you can also look forward to two trilogies.will create one, and the other is from .
This guide, first published June 19, 2018, is regularly updated as we hear more news about Star Wars Episode 9.