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“It’s too dangerous. I have to go alone.” Those are the words Daisy Ridley’s Rey utters in the brand-new footage from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker shown at 2019’s D23 Expo.
Lucasfilm took the stage on Saturday during the hotly anticipated Walt Disney Studios presentation to unveil fresh footage from the Star Wars saga-ending The Rise of Skywalker.
Director J.J. Abrams explained that the creative team is working hard on putting the finishing touches on the film and is tinkering away at a new trailer to reveal ahead of the movie’s December 20 release date. But he didn’t want to leave the Star Wars fans in attendance hanging. So, he, his Lucasfilm partners, and The Rise of Skywalker cast gifted the world with a stellar sizzle reel featuring shots from the flick. The footage reportedly received a standing ovation.
The Hollywood Reporter had the breakdown of the footage, which shows a sizable fleet of Star Destroyers clustered in the sky, Rey and Kylo Ren battling atop a sunken ship in the ocean, and a first look at Keri Russell’s character Zorri Bliss in action — a Boba Fett-style bounty hunter type whom Russell describes as, quote, “very cool and a little bit shady … kind of a criminal.” She’s also apparently an old friend of Poe Dameron’s.
The new Rise of Skywalker footage ended with the most jaw-dropping shot of all: Rey is seen cloaked in a dark hood and holding a dual-bladed lightsaber that’s glowing red.
This suggests that Rey, who struggled with understanding and channeling the Force in The Last Jedi, may give into temptation and turn to the dark side in The Rise of Skywalker.
C’mon, a red saber with two blades? A black hood over her head? Rey’s giving serious dark side vibes in the new footage, and it’s already sending fans into a spiral of speculation — with many theorizing that the get-up she sports in the new footage may be her response to discovering her true parentage, which has always been a hot point of discussion amongst fans. If The Rise of Skywalker reveals that Rey is a descendant of a prominent dark-sider — like, say, Emperor Palpatine — she certainly couldn’t be blamed for having an existential crisis.
On the other hand, maybe she’s wearing a creepy hood and wielding a new lightsaber because she’s trying to infiltrate the First Order as part of a Resistance mission. That seems more likely than Rey going mad, but hey, anything goes in the Star Wars universe.
Unfortunately, The Rise of Skywalker sizzle reel wasn’t immediately made available online. The silver lining is that something else related to the movie is: a badass new poster. Lucasfilm unveiled the one-sheet at the Walt Disney Studios presentation on Saturday, giving fans a glimpse at the tone and aesthetic of the upcoming film. Aside from Palpatine’s tell-tale cackle in the first Rise of Skywalker teaser, It’s one of the first confirmations that the one-time Emperor of the galaxy will be playing a role in Episode 9.
These reveals should tide fans over until Lucasfilm drops the second trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, and definitely serve to boost hype for the flick that will supposedly cap off the nine-movie Skywalker saga.
The Star Wars franchise will, of course, live on after The Rise of Skywalker with new movies from Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, and Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. There’s also the three live-action Star Wars TV series coming to the Disney+ streaming platform: The Mandalorian, a Rogue One prequel centered on Diego Luna’s character Cassian Andor, and the recently announced Obi-Wan Kenobi show.
Still, The Rise of Skywalker marks the end of an important era, and will apparently be the last Star Wars film for a while, as the franchise is taking a hiatus from feature films after its release.
The hope is that The Rise of Skywalker will be so epic that fans completely forget there won’t be a new Star Wars movie hitting the big screen for some time. Based on this footage description, the new poster, and the action-packed first trailer, that goal should be easily achieved. The end is nigh, and the saga is sure to go out with a bang when Episode 9 lands in theaters on December 20.