The title of the ninth official chapter of the Star Wars saga—and the final chapter in the Skywalker series—was announced today in Chicago, at an arena presentation that marked the main event of this year’s Star Wars Celebration. The full title of the film will be Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise Of Skywalker.
Director J.J. Abrams and series producer Kathleen Kennedy were in attendance for the event, along with Anthony Daniels (who said the rejected title of his memoir was Telling The Odds), a bemused Billy Dee Williams (who said of Lando’s betrayal in The Empire Strikes Back, “He was up against Darth Vader! What was he supposed to do? Did anyone die?”), old pros Daisy Ridley (who deferred to Abrams as to whether Rey has any new Force powers in the film, which Abrams sort of confirmed), John Boyega (who said that, by Episode IX, Finn is “a full-fledged resistance sexy young man” involved in a “love pentagon” with Rose, Rey, Poe, and various aliens), Oscar Isaac (who said Poe will probably become a “space Uber” driver after the war is over), Joonas Suotamo (who shared photos of his son on set), and Kelly Marie Tran (who said of Rose’s coma at the end of The Last Jedi, “She’s taking a rest. I’d like to do that too,” before a character photo showed she’s awake in Episode IX). New addition Naomi Ackie was also on hand for the panel, and revealed that her character’s name is Jaana—spelling assumed—but wouldn’t say for sure if Lando Calrissian is her character’s father. “Lando is a charming man, he could have children all over the galaxy,” she said.
They were joined by surprise host Stephen Colbert, whose comedic monologue at the beginning of the panel was predictably steeped in Star Wars lore. The presentation opened with a video featuring behind-the-scenes clips spanning more than 40 years, from the original Star Wars through Episode IX, including a clip of Abrams talking about the timelessness and “inevitability” of the series’ conclusion.
On stage, Abrams said the film is currently in post-production, specifically the VFX stage, and the new film is about “a new generation and what they’ve inherited—the light and the dark.” Concept art of the crew that took off in the Millennium Falcon at the end of The Last Jedi landing on a forest planet was shown, along with photos of a mountainous desert landscape with alien creatures in yellow and red robes. Abrams said that “the movie doesn’t pick up immediately” after The Last Jedi, and the story is a “group adventure” for the characters introduced in The Force Awakens. (Sadly for the ReyLo ‘shippers, Adam Driver will remain fully clothed throughout the film, as Ridley and Abrams joked during an especially thirsty segment of the panel.) Abrams also teased a new creature named Klaw, who’s a “friend of the resistance,” and a new droid named D-0 with a design that’s a cross between a rubber duckie and a megaphone glued to a self-propelled wheel.
Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise Of Skywalker opens on December 20, 2019.