The words “No one’s really gone” and an ominous cackle top up the events in the first trailer of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The focus is firmly on Daisy Ridley’s Rey, lightsaber by her side, as she executes a gravity-defying move against what appears to be Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer.
“We’ve passed on all we know,” Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) says in the background. “A thousand generations live in you now, but this is your fight.”
The third in the sequel trilogy (the previous films were The Force Awakens, 2015, and The Last Jedi, 2017) and the concluding chapter in the franchise that began with George Lucas’s Star Wars in 1977 traces the final battle between Rey and the Resistance and Kylo Ren’s dark forces.
The story follows events detailed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), and sees many of the characters from that film returning, including Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Leia (Carrie Fisher). Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) is back too, as is Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams, who was last seen in Return of the Jedi (1983). Eagle-eyed Trekkies have noted that Lando has on the same outfit that Donald Glover wore as the younger version of his character.
Other cast members include Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Keri Russell, Richard E Grant and Naomi Ackie. There’s a new droid in town, named D-0, and old friends are back, including BB-8 and C-3PO (Anthony Daniels). The voice behind the cackle belongs to Sheev Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), the evil emperor who was seemingly killed by Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. As Luke Skywalker said, “No one’s really gone.”
The final chapter in the space opera has been directed by JJ Abrams, and will be released worldwide on December 20. At the trailer launch in Chicago on Friday, Abrams shared a few crumbs about the plot. “This is an adventure that the group goes on together,” he is quoted in The Hollywood Reporter as saying. “One of the great things about the movie, getting to work on it, was the dynamic between the characters. They are just the most wonderful together.”
Daisy Ridley confirmed that the lightsaber she is wielding belongs to Luke Skywalker. “The lightsaber that Rey inherited from Luke lives,” Variety quoted Ridley as saying.