In case you missed it, the first teaser for the ninth Star Wars movie has finally been released. The trailer for the film, which is now called Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, was unveiled at the recent Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. However, the teaser was hardly the new update about the highly anticipated movie.
The Star Wars Episode IX panel at SWCC at McCormick Place was hosted by Stephen Colbert and attended by the cast and crew of The Rise of Skywalker. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was also in attendance, and everyone revealed some awesome new details about film. Here’s everything you missed at the panel last week.
#1. Some of the film’s storyline was altered around Carrie Fisher’s unused footage.
Director J.J. Abrams immediately pointed out that they didn’t want to use CGI to bring back General Leia Organa. Instead, they made use of the late Carrie Fisher’s unused footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and created the story around it.
“You don’t recast that part and you don’t suddenly have her disappear. The weird miracle of having a number of scenes from Force Awakens that had got unused, looking at those scenes and starting to understand that there was an actually a way to use those scenes and continue her story so that it would be her. The idea of having a CG character was off the table … we said, ‘What if we could write scenes about her so it’s her performance?’” Abrams said.
#2. The characters have grown a lot since ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’.
Abrams confirmed that the movie will not pick up right where Episode VIII left off. This means the characters have had some time to grow since the Battle of Crait.
#3. The main trio will finally work together.
The previous films have somehow kept Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron from working together. However, this will change in The Rise of Skywalker.
“What I’ll say is, in this movie, this is an adventure that the group goes on together. One of the great things about the movie, and getting to work on it, was the dynamic between the characters. They are just the most wonderful together, and that’s what I’m excited for you all to see,” Abrams said.
#4. BB-8 is getting an adorable new friend.
R2-D2 and BB-8 rolled onstage during the panel. However, they weren’t the only droids that stole the show. The tiny new droid named D-O was introduced and immediately captured fans’ hearts.
#5. A mysterious new alien is connected to Chewbacca and a surprise returning character.
Abrams confirmed that there will be new aliens introduced in Episode IX. One of which is a large slug-like creature named Klad, who is reportedly a “friend of the Resistance” and was brought in by Chewbacca.
A still of the alien shows Klad interacting with Temmin ‘Snap’ Wexley, the Resistance pilot played by Greg Grunberg. Wexley first appeared in The Force Awakens but was notably absent in The Last Jedi.
#6. New character Jannah may or may not be connected to Lando Calrissian.
Naomi Ackie will play the new character in the film and was promptly asked if she is playing Lando’s daughter. “Listen, Lando is a very charming man. So he could have children all over the universe,” she answered.
So what else can we expect about Jannah? “All I can really say is the original group is going on this epic, epic adventure together, and Jannah crosses paths with them,” Ackie said.
#7. Billy Dee Williams was always Lando.
The veteran actor got a standing ovation when he walked onstage and admitted that it wasn’t difficult to get back into character. “Lando never left me,” he said.
#8. Who’s the better pilot, Poe Dameron or Han Solo?
Oscar Isaac chose his words carefully when asked. “No one can pilot the Millennium Falcon like Han,” he said. “However, Poe can fly anything. I’m just saying Poe is the better Uber driver.”
#9. A major villain is coming back.
People immediately freaked out when a familiar laugh rang out in the Rise of Skywalker trailer. However, this wasn’t the only surprise of the evening. When the lights came back on, it was revealed that Ian McDiarmid had been onstage waiting for the audience’s reaction.
McDiarmid played Emperor Sheev Palpatine in the prequel trilogy and is confirmed to reprise the role in Episode IX.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will premiere on December 20.