New photos from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker give fans another look at the film. Last month, Lucasfilm finally kicked off the Episode IX marketing campaign, unveiling the official teaser trailer during a panel at Celebration Chicago. Not only did the preview reveal the movie's title, it also confirmed Emperor Palpatine was making a surprise return to the big screen, raising even more questions about the Rise of Skywalker narrative that fans will look to unpack over the next several months.
As exciting as Celebration was, longtime fans knew it was just the tip of the iceberg in regards to promotion. Both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi had deliberately paced campaigns where information was rolled out slowly but surely to increase the already fervent levels of hype. Some fans may still be analyzing the teaser for clues, but they now have a new batch of still images to check out.
Vanity Fair's massive The Rise of Skywalker cover story included a gallery of new photos, including looks at the Knights of Ren, new characters played by Richard E. Grant and Kerri Russell, and Luke Skywalker. Check them out in the space below:
During the Celebration panel, Naomi Ackie's Jannah and the droid D-0 were the only new Rise of Skywalker characters spotlighted, but fans knew the cast included several other fresh faces. Here, a couple key ones are officially revealed: Zorri Bliss (Keri Russell) and Allegiant General Pryde (Richard E. Grant). The former is described as a "masked scoundrel" while the latter is a First Order officer. It'll be interesting to see how both fit into the narrative and provide their spin on classic Star Wars tropes. Another major revelation is that, after months of ongoing rumors, the fabled Knights of Ren are appearing in The Rise of Skywalker. In one of the photos, Abrams is seen directing a group of costumed warriors, each wielding their own unique weapon. The Knights are one of the few dangling threads remaining from The Force Awakens, so hopefully they make some meaningful contributions to the story. Star Wars is rather notorious for giving "cool looking" villains little to do, and it'd be nice if that trend was reversed for the finale.
Of course, the veteran characters also get plenty of time to shine in the photos. One of the more striking images in the gallery is Rey and Kylo Ren's latest confrontation, with the two young Force users swinging their lightsabers in the rain. It'll be interesting to see if this is connected to the speculated "Force Flash Fights" or a more traditional duel. Another eye-catching photo is that of Luke Skywalker, standing in front of a blazing landscape with R2-D2 by his side. Without context, it's difficult to say if this is from another flashback depicting the days of Luke's temple or something else entirely (if it's even from a scene in the movie at all). Finally, some may be disappointed there isn't a glimpse of Emperor Palpatine in this batch, but there's still lots of time remaining in the Rise of Skywalker marketing campaign to give the big bad his just due.
Source: Vanity Fair
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019