The final installment in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, will introduce yet a new Star Wars villain: Allegiant General Pryde. With one more chapter left to tell, director J.J. Abrams is setting up what will undoubtedly be an intense story which will try to tie up as many loose ends as possible and close out a story that has been ongoing since 1977.
Richard E. Grant and Keri Russell joined The Rise of Skywalker's cast last summer, but details on their roles were unknown at the time. Neither character appeared in the first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, but they were in May's Vanity Fair cover story. In addition to revealing new details on Rey, Kylo Ren, and the rest of the main characters in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, the cover story also provided the first look at Russell's Zorri Bliss and Grant's General Pryde.
With a story like The Rise of Skywalker's, it's no surprise a new villain like Pryde is being brought in to up the stakes, to heighten tension between the First Order and the Resistance, and leave Star Wars fans wondering whether the Resistance will actually come out on top this time around. But who exactly is Allegiant General Pryde?
Richard E. Grant Plays Allegiant General Pryde In Star Wars 9
News of Richard E. Grant's casting in The Rise of Skywalker first made its way to the internet back in August 2018 when Grant confirmed on his own Twitter he would be involved with the film. According to Grant, he'd taped a generic scene for an undisclosed role in an unknown film and sent it in. Grant excitedly told his Twitter followers he'd then gotten a call to meet with J.J. Abrams and casting director Nina Gold and during that meeting, Abrams offered him a role in The Rise of Skywalker.
At the time, Grant didn't reveal who his character was, as is frequently the case with Star Wars casting news. Details about casting and who is playing which character are divulged at the discretion of Lucasfilm, although they have readily shot down incorrect theories from the fanbase in the past (remember the resounding "no" on the "Snoke Is Plagueis" theory?). So, for the better part of a year, there was much speculation about who Grant would be playing in The Rise of Skywalker. Fans speculated shortly after Grant confirmed his casting that he would be playing General Admiral Thrawn. He later refuted the Thrawn theory, but that doesn't mean the theory wasn't far off.
Grant's role was eventually confirmed when Vanity Fair published their photoshoot and extensive profile on The Rise of Skywalker in May. A photo of Grant as Allegiant General Pryde and Armitage Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) was featured in the photoshoot, showing the two men aboard what is likely Kylo Ren's Star Destroyer, The Finalizer. Grant's character's name was confirmed in the photo's caption.
General Pryde Is A Leader Of The First Order With Hux
Also confirmed in the photo of Pryde and Hux from the VF photoshoot is the fact that Pryde is a high-ranking member of the First Order. As Allegiant General, he will have a major impact on the direction the First Order goes in to maintain their power in the wake of the loss of Supreme Leader Snoke. It seems Pryde and Hux will be joining forces in The Rise of Skywalker to ensure the First Order maintains dominance, but it's unclear how well that will sit with Kylo Ren, the heir apparent to the Supreme Leader role going into the final Skywalker saga chapter.
The changing of the guard among the First Order high command will no doubt lead to problems throughout The Rise of Skywalker. At the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the First Order was left with some recovering to do. Kylo Ren murdering Snoke and assuming the role of Supreme Leader will likely not sit well with his longtime rival, Hux, who has dedicated his life to the First Order and risen in the ranks to become a general by the time he first appears in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It's still unknown how Pryde is brought into the fold insofar as he ends up on The Finalizer alongside Hux, but if these characters are going to be leading the First Order under Kylo Ren's leadership and Hux is already predisposed to dislike Kylo, Pryde may also share Hux's opinions and clash with the new Supreme Leader.
Allegiant General Pryde Is Not Hux's Father
One key fact that can be confirmed without having to wait for another trailer or interview related to The Rise of Skywalker is that Pryde is not Hux's father. Pryde and Hux will be among Kylo Ren's top command in the First Order but these have no familial connections to speak of.
Star Wars fans know Pryde cannot be Hux's father because the fate of Hux's father is laid out in Chuck Wendig's Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy and Delilah S. Dawson's Phasma novel. In these books, it's established that Hux is the illegitimate son of former Commandant Brendol Hux. Brendol was a high-ranking member of the Galactic Empire and a member of the Imperial Officer Corps. Hux followed in his father's footsteps, rising in the ranks of the First Order and carefully studying the inner workings of the First Order, laboring under the belief he was destined to rule the galaxy, ostensibly via command of the First Order. As part of Hux's determined rise to power, he conspired with his father's protégé, Captain Phasma, to murder Brendol. Phasma was successful in killing Brendol through untraceable means, giving Hux the ability to step out from his father's shadow and move higher up in the First Order.
Despite Pryde and Hux not sharing a familial bond, their positioning in the VF photoshoot implies they may have a mentor-mentee-like relationship, with Pryde sharing his own insights on leadership with Hux. Admittedly, what's shown in the recent VF photos hardly qualifies as canon, but Pryde and Hux's photo could still be hinting at the nature of their partnership.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019