The leaked Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker poster that emerged earlier this year is real, although there have been a couple changes made to it. In its Disney era, the Star Wars franchise has been renowned for its high levels of secrecy, with carefully run marketing campaigns designed to reveal as little as possible before release day. Even by the Mouse House's standards, they kicked things up a notch for Star Wars 9, choosing to not reveal the official title until the teaser trailer debuted during Celebration Chicago in April.
By now, fans can tell there's a method to Star Wars promotional campaigns, with the studio controlling what gets released and when. That's why it was a little surprising when this spring, shortly before Celebration, a purported Star Wars 9 promotional poster showcasing imagery like the Sith Troopers and C-3PO wielding a weapon made its way online. Of course, it can be difficult at times to tell what's real and what's fan made these days, but the Star Wars 9 poster looked like it was the real deal. And as a matter of fact, it is.
Star Wars News Net was able to get a sneak peek at some of the Rise of Skywalker tie-in merchandise that will soon be available, and the leaked poster is among the items. There are some notable alterations made to the one some might have seen months ago. Instead of the general Star Wars logo, there's now a Rise of Skywalker title card in place. And Rose Tico replaces new alien character Klaud next to Finn. Check it out in the space below:
We were given a look at some new items hitting retailers soon for #TheRiseofSkywalker. This may look familiar to those who saw a leaked promo item a few months back. The main difference is they have replaced the alien Klaud with Rose Tico, above Finn. #StarWars pic.twitter.com/AcMdQIO2ur— SWNN (@StarWarsNewsNet) September 18, 2019
When the one-sheet first leaked, many assumed it was going to be a Celebration exclusive handed out to attendees, but it looks like Disney's plan was to make it part of Triple Force Friday. The unofficial retail holiday takes place on October 4, when merchandise from The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian, and video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order hit store shelves. Lending credence to that theory is the fact a few aspects on the poster, like the Knights of Ren, Sith Troopers, and Zorii Bliss in full costume, weren't officially unveiled until well after the Celebration panel. This artwork leaking early spoiled portions of Disney's overall advertising strategy for The Rise of Skywalker, but fortunately it does not contain any outright plot spoilers that would ruin the experience of watching the film.
As far as Star Wars retail posters go, this is pretty standard in its design, though C-3PO handling a bowcaster remains the biggest question mark. The Star Wars 9 trailer that debuted at D23 included a shot of the fussy protocol droid with red eyes, so Threepio's been the topic of much speculation so far. After being on the sidelines the first two installments of the sequel trilogy, it looks like J.J. Abrams is making sure one of the saga's most enduring legacy characters goes off on a high note. Threepio essentially kicked off the Star Wars phenomenon 42 years ago, so it's only fitting if he has a large role to play at the end.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019