‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Brings the Resistance to D23 With New Footage, Poster

"It’s a thrill to be with you to celebrate the end of what began more than 40 years ago," director J.J. Abrams said.
John Boyega, "The Rise of Skywalker"
"The Rise of Skywalker"

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and the “Star Wars” galaxy may not seem that similar — beyond a thirst for justice and an affiliation with Disney — but just as the MCU closed out its Infinity Saga recently, so too will George Lucas’ baby close out its Skywalker chapter. When “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” is done, so will be the known era of the “Star Wars” franchise.

So it was with much anticipation and a little bittersweet mourning that fans awaited the scoop on “Skywalker” at Saturday’s D23 Expo Walt Disney Studios presentation. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams, who is directing the film, were on hand to reveal a new poster and footage from the movie.

“It’s a thrill to be with you to celebrate the end of what began more than 40 years ago,” Abrams told the “Star Wars” chief.

After a first peek at the film came in the form of a teaser released in April, audiences got to see more footage Saturday. The most important shots included a hooded Rey wielding a double-sided lightsaber, just like Darth Maul, and Rey and Kylo Ren battling on a rocky cliff. IndieWire will add video of the footage once it’s released, but for now, here’s the poster:

“The Rise of Skywalker” will also be produced and co-written by Abrams, who helmed “The Force Awakens.” In the film, the Resistance will once again fend off the First Order, which will lead to the end of the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith for good. That certainly doesn’t bode well for one side.

The film’s ensemble cast includes Daisy Ridley, Adam 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.

Cast members including Russell were present Saturday. She gave audiences a preview of her character, Zorri Bliss.

“I found it strangely exciting,” Russell said. “She’s shady…kind of a criminal and an old friend of Poe’s.”

“Rise of Skywalker” is scheduled to be theatrically released on Dec. 20.

There was no word at the D23 Expo on the “Star Wars” trilogy of films from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The filmmakers had a few minor credits to their name before they launched and subsequently ended an adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series “Game of Thrones” for HBO.

Not much is known about the films except that the first in the trilogy is set to launch following “Skywalker,” sometime in 2020.

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