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One day after the trailer for Disney+’s The Mandalorian dropped, which will add to the storied Star Wars universe this coming November, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy returned to D23 to share even more news about the upcoming conclusion to the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with a brand new sizzle reel. For the big debut, Kennedy and the film’s director J.J. Abrams were joined on stage by the cast, including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Naomi Ackie.
The footage opened with a montage of scenes from all previous Star Wars movies, as Luke Skywalker says in a voiceover, “We’ve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight.” As the sizzle builds into footage from the upcoming movie, the clips crescendo into more intense battles throughout the galaxy, including a tense face-off between Rey (Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). But the biggest shock came at the very end, when Rey was seen wearing a dark hooded cloak and holding a red double-bladed lightsaber.
Unfortunately, the sizzle hasn’t been released to the public (yet?), but we do have a new poster to enjoy. See it below.
We were also treated to a bit more information about Russell’s brand new character, Zori Bliss, who has an “amazing costume” and a helmet that Russell didn’t want to take off for two days. “She’s very cool and a little bit shady,” the actress teased. “She’s kind of a criminal, and sort of this old friend of Poe’s.”
And of course, it wouldn’t be appropriate for the late Carrie Fisher to go unmentioned during the presentation, as we are all well aware that Abrams incorporated unused footage from 2015’s The Force Awakens to give Leia Organa the send-off she deserved. The director recalled an occurrence that helped him come to terms with using the repurposed scenes without being able to get her direct approval: In her 2016 book The Princess Diarist, Fisher thanked Abrams for putting up with her “twice.” The thing was — they’d only worked together once, on The Force Awakens, and Abrams hadn’t originally been slated to direct The Rise of Skywalker. “It was a classic Carrie thing to write something like that, that could only mean one thing for me,” Abrams said. “We could not be more excited for you to see her final performance as Leia.”
We’ll update this post if the footage is released online. Until then, try to satiate your need for more Skywalker imagery by studying every detail of the new poster above and re-watching the two-minute teaser that was released in April.