Four years since the Force awoke in The Force Awakens, two years on from Luke Skywalker declaring that he would not be the last Jedi in The Last Jedi, we finally know the official title of Star Wars: Episode XI. When we return to the galaxy far, far away this December, back under the guidance of J.J. Abrams, it’ll be to watch Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. Watch the first teaser trailer here:
That’s the name that was just now confirmed in a teaser trailerat the Star Wars Celebration event in Chicago, with Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy taking to the stage alongside Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Naomi Ackie (oh, and BB-8) to talk up the next instalment. Kennedy described the film as “the third act of a three-act structure”, with Abrams concurring that it’s “the end of three trilogies”. Talking up the themes of the film, he said: “It’s about this new generation and what they’ve inherited, the light and the dark […] It’s been really incredible to look at this thing that George created and bring it to a close in this way with this generation.” The filmmaker added that he’s currently in the editing stage and overseeing the visual effects for the film.
With Kylo Ren, aka Ben Solo, having ascended to become the leader of the First Order after murdering Supreme Leader Snoke, The Rise Of Skywalker picks up some time after the end of The Last Jedi, and find Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and a new generation of Resistance fighters facing a final fight to save the galaxy. During the panel, a glimpse of concept art teased an adventure that Rey, Finn, Poe, C-3PO, Chewie and BB-8 on a group adventure – a scene which Abrams says comes very early in the film.
As well as the next generation cast, The Rise Of Skywalker will once again star Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, the legendary hero who became one with the Force in The Last Jedi, while the late, great Carrie Fisher will appear for one final time as General Leia Organa thanks to footage she originally shot for The Force Awakens. Abrams spoke emotionally about Fisher’s posthumous presence. “She’s so alive in scene,” he said. “Princess Leia lives in this film in a way that’s kind of mind-blowing to me.”
Earlier this week, a major interview with Abrams found the director talking positively about the pressure to get The Rise Of Skywalker right, amidst all the pressure of closing the trilogy and stepping on to the project after original director Colin Trevorrow departed. “I feel like we’ve gotten to a place – without jinxing anything or sounding more confident than I deserve to be – I feel like we’re in a place where we might have something incredibly special,” Abrams teased. “So I feel relief being home, and I feel gratitude that I got to do it. And more than anything, I’m excited about what I think we might have.”
The Star Wars Celebration event will continue in the coming days with additional panels on Disney+ series The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars, and other upcoming Star Wars properties.
Bring on the final chapter. Fellow Star Wars fans, we’re home.
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