The first Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sizzle reel featuring new footage from the film has been released to the masses. The footage was initially shown at Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday, August 24. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams, and the cast including the Skywalker saga sequel trilogy leads Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) were all on hand to present the footage.
The money shot is, of course, Rey in dark robes wielding a two-sided red lightsaber, to which everyone lost their damn minds. Will Rey break bad in The Rise of Skywalker? Maybe! If Rey turning bad was a major plot point would J.J. Abrams—Master of Secrets, Spoiler Cop McMystery box—allow that major reveal to go out in a trailer four months before the film’s release? Absolutely not. So I think we can all safely assume that the image in question is meant to tantalize and get fans intrigued by a number of possibilities, and not outright spoil a major turn for the franchise’s protagonist.
The Rise of Skywalker is the final installment in the sequel trilogy which makes up the nine-part Skywalker saga that began in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, and that aspect of Star Wars 9 is front and center in this here trailer. Abrams has crafted a story that not only ends the arc that began in 2015’s The Force Awakens, but the entire Skywalker saga that was initiated with A New Hope and, chronologically at least, began with The Phantom Menace. The late, great Carrie Fisher, an integral figure in the Star Wars canon, will make her final appearance in The Rise of Skywalker thanks to previously unused footage edited into the film’s final cut.
In addition to Ridley, Boyega, and Isaac, returning sequel trilogy cast members include Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), and Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix). Additionally, past Skywalker saga actors Ian McDiarmid, Mark Hamill, and Billy Dee Williams will reprise their roles as Palpatine, Luke Skywalker, and Lando Calrissian, respectively. There will be new faces, too, as Naomi Ackie (Jannah), Keri Russell (Zorri), and Richard E. Grant (Allegiant General Pryde) join in the fun.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20, 2019. Check out the sizzle reel below: