After wowing audiences over the weekend with a star-packed panel at Disney’s own fan confab D23, the Lucasfilm and “Star Wars” team aren’t making movie lovers who couldn’t make the trek to Orlando wait much longer to see a fresh look “The Rise of Skywalker.” And while it’s easy to get caught up in marketing madness, this new look at the J.J. Abrams-directed feature doesn’t shy away from the possibility that there are going to be some major changes along the way, including series heroine Rey wielding a weapon typically associated with classic baddie Darth Maul.
A first look at the franchise entry was revealed back in April at Star Wars Celebration, where the film’s first teaser trailer similarly hinted at a game-changing final feature in the Skywalker Saga. At the time, Abrams told the crowd that the film follows “an adventure that the group goes on together. One of the great things about it is the dynamic between the characters.” Could that adventure also see the fracturing of said group? And could someone be choosing a new side along the way?
This new look at the film lays on the battle-based drama pretty thick, kicking off with Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) duking it out on an ocean-swept outcropping, yet another duel between the irrevocably-linked stars of the latest iteration of the franchise. But while that sequence plays up the blazing red of Kylo’s lightsaber (thanks to the synthetic crystals the Sith favor) and the sparkling blue of Rey’s own weapon (the usual color for a Jedi), in the next scene, a pale-faced Rey is seen wielding a double-edge red lightsaber, just like Sith Lord Darth Maul.
What could it mean? Perhaps nothing good, or maybe it’s an obvious bit of misdirection (we’re certainly hoping for the latter).
The film’s ensemble cast includes Ridley, Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and Ian McDiarmid.
Disney will release “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in theaters on Friday, December 20. Check out the newest footage from the film below, including an introduction that looks back on the seminal series so far.