The latest Star Wars Celebration is this weekend in Chicago, and one of the main attractions this year is today’s Episode IX panel. With the movie set for release in December, very little is known about what might happen in the film. Today fans got a hint of what’s to come, as the subtitle for Episode IX was revealed, and the first teaser trailer for the film debuted.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is promised to be the final installment in the episodic Skywalker Saga. The teaser trailer features Rey wielding her new lightsaber against a TIE Fighter, shots of Poe, Finn, and our other heroes doing very heroic things, and voiceover of Luke Skywalker talking about having passed on the knowledge of the Jedi before promising that they will always be with her, and that “No one’s ever really gone.” For better or worse, it seems, as the sound of Emperor Palpatine cackling closes out the trailer.
The “Every Generation has a Legend” title card that appears calls back to the Phantom Menace teaser trailer, which is an interesting choice, but also alludes to Palpatine’s involvement as a puppet master behind the scenes. And the use of the swelling Princess Leia’s theme as the teaser progresses gave me seriously intense chills.

Some other tidbits from the panel, which included Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, and cast members Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), and Naomi Ackie (new character Jannah):

  • The overall tenor of the panel was playful, as Colbert tried to tease out details from the panelists and got absolutely nowhere.
  • Abrams said that they’re in the process of editing and completing the visual effects on the film. He described the film as being about the new generation having to reckon with what they’ve inherited from the previous one.
  • On the subject of filling the void left by the loss of Carrie Fisher, Abrams said it was impossible – they couldn’t recast the character, and they couldn’t just have her disappear, nor did they ever want to use a CG version of Fisher. He talked about writing scenes for Episode IX around unused scenes from The Force Awakens as a way to keep the character alive.
  • Asked about the timeline of the film in relation to The Last Jedi, Abrams said: “The movie doesn’t pick up immediately after the last film. Some time has gone by. This is an adventure that the group goes on together.”
  • Asked about Finn’s journey, Boyega said that the character “has found his footing within the Resistance.” He also confirmed that Finn’s nemesis, Captain Phasma, is gone for good.
  • Asked if there would be any new Force powers in the film, Ridley deferred to Abrams, who praised the stunt coordinator and absolutely did not answer the question.
  • Ridley did confirm that there are no more visions of semi-naked Kylo Ren in the next film.

  • BB-8 introduced a new droid, D-O (pronounced ‘Dio’), which looks like a megaphone mounted on top of a wheel. Abrams praised the effects team for creating a version of D-O that they could bring out onto the stage.
  • After the trailer played to end the panel, the lights came up and Emperor Palpatine himself, Ian McDiarmid, appeared on-stage and, in classic Palpatine voice, requested the trailer roll again.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20th, 2019.

20 COMMENTS

  1. So I guess JJ didn’t get the point of The Last Jedi that it was time to leave the past behind and move on to something new? But hey, the kids love them some Palpatine, right?

  2. I think, Simon, that JJ ABrams is clearly trying to write The Last Jedi out of existence. Even the the destroyed lightsabre and helmet are back.

  3. It’s going to have to do a lot after how bad I felt the last one was. But really, the end? Not as long as money is to be made.

  4. It would take several flops on the order of “Solo” to kill this franchise.
    And I liked “Last Jedi” just fine.

  5. I actually didn’t mind Solo. Just a caper flick. And it’s like they took the cool first five minutes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and expanded it into an entire feature length presentation. The young Indy with his mentor in the same way as the young Solo had Woody Harrelson. Nothing remarkably great, but it was solidly alright for what it was.

  6. I like this comment from film historian Mark Harris:
    “Now that Star Wars season has started is it okay if I mute the phrase ‘my childhood’?”
    As in “Rian Johnson raped my childhood,” “J.J. Abrams destroyed my childhood,” etc.
    Someone suggested also muting the word “canon.”

  7. Some people really did like their childhood. In my childhood Star Wars was a movie that spawned an incredible series of toys and sequels, as an adult those series and toys have spawned… well commercials. I know it’s fun to mock pain on the net, safe behind a keyboard and screen, but the pain is real for many. I call the new movies commercials in the sense that they are paint by numbers plots, very predictable despite some hard work by the actors. At it’s heart Star Wars has two stories to tell: rebels against an evil empire or republic being destroyed from within. We’ve had three with the republic going down, three with the empire going down and now we’ve had two with a new empire going down, complete with bargain basement Darth Vader and Palpatine-light. After they go we might see three more films of the new republic go down, and another empire will rise and so on and so on…
    Another thing about when I was a kid, you always knew that summer had re-runs.

  8. ” I know it’s fun to mock pain on the net, safe behind a keyboard and screen, but the pain is real for many”
    But…but..you’re the enemy and your hobby is dead. It’s time to roll over and make room for new people to enjoy franchise. They can’t enjoy it with you enjoying it.
    Make.
    Space.

  9. Mark, I loved “Gilligan’s Island” when I was a child, but I stopped caring what anyone did with it by the time I was 12. And it’s been a long time since I cared what anyone did with Spider-Man, Batman and the rest of the spandex crew.
    I still have my generation’s comics, and I can read them whenever I want. Step aside and let new generations have comics (and movies) that are created for them.
    I like this comment by the Daily Beast’s Nick Schager, in an article titled “Movie Fanboy Armies Rage On in the Era of Trump”:
    “This virulent era has no official start date, although it can be traced back at least as far as 2008, when critics who dared to dislike Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight were subject to an onslaught of (often homophobic, racist and/or juvenile) invectives from die-hard defenders.
    “Still, it’s been gaining steam over the past three years, thanks to a series of brouhahas that have exposed the ugly underbelly of modern cinephilia, where immature enthusiasts frequently freak out over any amendment or update to their beloved childhood franchises, which they cling to with a fervor that would embarrass even the most blankie-obsessed infant.”

  10. And this zinger, from the same article:
    “Fondly remembering youthful favorites is a natural and inherent part of cine fandom. Yet follow-ups don’t alter them; you can always go back to the source if that’s what you really want. Furthermore, if the sanctity of your childhood hinges on a movie about dudes shooting energy beams at a giant marshmallow man, that says a lot more about you than about any attempted cinematic update.”

  11. Define “Freak Out”
    How do I stand in the way of anything by saying that I don’t like something? I liked Gilligan’s Island too, I even had a certain fondness for Gilligan’s Planet, the short lived cartoon series. Having them back for the rescue/reunion specials didn’t bother me at all. However in those reunion/rescue specials we never found out that say Gilligan was a serial killer or something like that. There is nothing wrong with trying something new or exploring a new area of a franchise. Star Wars Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels proved that well and there nothing wrong with having a bit of fun with it, Lego Star Wars Freemaker adventures proved that.
    But in the last two Star Wars films we’ve found that after the defeat of the Emperor and Darth/Anakin’s redemption that all of that meant nothing in the end. The new republic collapsed, Luke completely botched a new jedi order and a new empire sprung up. Han goes back to being a con guy, Luke goes of and sulks, Leia is left in charge of a new rebellion. So in the new set of movies we have a new female Luke -who we know absolutely nothing about but she masters the force far quicker than Luke ever did, doing things in the first movie completely without any training, we have a new death star, an Old Ben like-death for Han and so on… The reason they didn’t make the next three movies about the reconstruction of the republic and all the action and storylines that would have meant was because they wanted to repeat. Repeats make money and money is god. So anyone who was looking for a continuation of the story was in for a disappointment and they said so online. Others disagreed and it all got personal because when you say something unpopular online you will get attacked for it. I learned that the marysue, I learned it at places like CBR and Captain Comics and I’ve seen it in a milder form here. In modern America tolerance stops when disagreements begin. Rage and anger are just a part of the nation now and places like the Daily Beast live on it. They couldn’t operate without it.
    My hobbies aren’t dead, I can’t afford them right now anyway, but they aren’t dead. But the originality, the experimentation and the innovation that marked things like Star Trek and Star Wars are gone.

  12. I was in high school when “Star Wars” came out, and was more interested in seeing R-rated movies like “Network,” “Slap Shot,” “Taxi Driver” and “Carrie.” My days of playing with toys and action figures (or, as we called them then, dolls) were behind me.
    For me, “Star Wars” was just one of many good movies I saw in the late ’70s. It wasn’t a life-changing experience. Discovering Alfred Hitchcock or Buster Keaton — that was life-changing.

  13. “when you say something unpopular online you will get attacked for it. I learned that the marysue, I learned it at places like CBR and Captain Comics ”
    What you’re saying isn’t unpopular, just silly.
    You want to keep reading the superhero comics of your youth, but you want the stories and characters to be like they were decades ago (before the characters became “fascists”). And you want the prices to be like they were decades ago. None of that is going to happen.
    But instead of growing up and moving on, you’ve spent nearly 15 years whining and moaning that Marvel has left you behind. You’ve been doing this at least since “Civil War” in 2006. It’s become really tiresome. Find another hobby!

  14. “But instead of growing up and moving on, you’ve spent nearly 15 years whining and moaning that Marvel has left you behind. You’ve been doing this at least since “Civil War” in 2006. It’s become really tiresome. Find another hobby!”
    In other words ‘Shut up and go away’, spoken like every other bully I’ve encountered on the net. Why don’t you simply stop responding to me? Why don’t you ‘shut up and go away’.

  15. George’s comments is part of why the comic industry and much of the print industry is swirling around the drain. He and they are using the burying their head in the sand tactic. Everything is fine you’re just a troll. lol get a life, loser. In addition, they hide behind left-wing inter sectional politics while they hire and promote their bourgeois friends who make a lot of bad decisions. Sounds like what they mutter about certain politicians in power-hiding behind Jesus and handing out favors to their friends. The comic industry is just a clique to them and HOW DARE YOU talk sh—about their friend? Lots of kids in classroom loves his work, Newsweek gave it two thumbs up, it won a diversity award– his work is selling! Comics are doing great–better than ever-st f ;u !!
    Making appeals to authority, childish insults, or dishing out Godwin’s Law as a reverse “god, bless you” is not good adulting.

  16. “when you say something unpopular online you will get attacked for it. I learned that the marysue, I learned it at places like CBR and Captain Comics ”
    CBR , the C B, and marysue have too many of “their people”, their comrades, their friends as employees at Marvel, DC, Disney, etc. There is no rational reason why any of those sites do stories about obscure editors , administrative staff suddenly being hired as if even hardcore fanboys care about who they are and what they do. They are promoting their comrades and in return they probably get kickback money.
    There isn’t really a source of revenue for any of those sites to keep functioning. Advertising is almost non-existent.

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