The new footage of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was one of the big highlights at Disney’s D23 Expo over the weekend, and now that footage has been released to the public.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment of the Star Wars saga, will hit theaters on December 20, 2019
Also shared at D23 was the film’s new poster. The poster can be seen below and features Rey (Daisy Ridley) battling Kylo Ren (Adam Driver.)
Per Entertainment Weekly, director J.J. Abrams, Billy Dee Williams, C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels and Keri Russell were on hand at D23. Russell, who’s new to the Star Wars saga, says of her still-nameless character, “She’s very cool and a little bit shady. She’s kind of a criminal and old friend of Poe’s.”
Abrams addressed Carrie Fisher appearing as Leia in the film saying, “Of course, we can’t talk about the cast without talking about Carrie Fisher. And the character of Leia is really in a way the heart of this story. We could not tell the end of these nine films without Leia. And we realized that we had footage from episode 7 that we realized we could use in a new way. So Carrie, as Leia, gets to be in the film.”
Abrams added, “But the crazy part is we started to work on this movie and I wasn’t supposed to be directing this movie [as Colin Trevorrow was originally tapped as director]. Then we lost Carrie. And I was hired on this film and began working. And I remember this thing that I had read that I actually thought I was mistaken. I looked in her last book, The Princess Diarist, and she had written, ‘Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ Now I had never worked with her before Force Awakens and I wasn’t supposed to do this movie. So it was a classic Carrie thing to sort of write something like that that could only mean one thing for me. We couldn’t be more excited to have you see her in her final performance as Leia.”