This past Friday, the cast and crew of Star Wars: Episode IX unveiled a plethora of information surrounding the upcoming installment, which will serve as the conclusion to the nine-part Skywalker saga that has been bringing fans to a galaxy far, far away since 1977.
After a Q&A panel with the cast and crew (moderated by Stephen Colbert) at Star Wars Celebration on Friday in Chicago, IL, the lights dimmed in the packed theater to reveal the first look at the last chapter of the Skywalker saga. There’s a lot of information to unpack from just this single trailer, so here is everything that we know, thus far:
The last entry in the series will be dubbed Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
It will be released on December 20th, 2019.
The cast will feature a number of returning and new characters, including Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Domhnall Gleeson (Hux), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Jimmy Vee (R2-D2), Billie Lourd (Kaydel Ko Connix), Mark Hammill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Naomi Ackie (Jannah), Richard E. Grant (unknown), Keri Russell (unknown), and Dominic Monaghan (unknown).
The film does not pick up directly after the events of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. It’s not indicated exactly how long, but it’s noted that it picks up after “some time” since the initial events seen at the conclusion of TLJ.
John Williams will be the composer for the film, as he has been with every numbered entry of Star Wars films since 1977.
The film is being edited right now, but all filming itself has concluded.
That laugh heard at the end of the trailer before the title reveal? Yeah. That’s Emperor Palpatine. The one who was shown killed at the end of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The laugh comes in the trailer, moments after we see a wide shot of the remnants of what is believed to be the second Death Star, which was destroyed in Return of the Jedi. A voiceover from Luke Skywalker says, “no one’s ever really gone.”
Just moments after the trailer finishes, lights appear on the stage and Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) appears holding a microphone, in which he says in a raspy growl, “Roll it again.” A roar of applause and a standing ovation occurs in the auditorium as the trailer is looped for a second time.
There are many theories and ideas unraveling about what “The Rise of Skywalker” could be referring to. The bottom line, though, is that excitement is in the air, and fans are ready to return to the Skywalker saga just one more time. The brilliantly astounding teaser trailer can be seen below. We’ll keep everyone up to date as we learn more in the coming months leading up to December 20th.