With the release of Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker still over half a year away, much of the details surrounding the latest addition to the series are shrouded in uncertainty. But, thanks to a recent sneak peek provided by Vanity Fair, we now know a little bit more than we did before ahead of the final outing of the franchise in December.
New information has dropped on a variety of characters, from Rey to Kylo Ren, Lando Calrissian to Leia. We also know the conclusion of Disney’s trilogy will take place a whole year after The Last Jedi, where we last saw our heroes’ ranks depleted and the villains on the rise. We now take a look at 10 questions we have ahead of the Rise of Skywalker.
10 What Will Happen With Leia?
Ever since the tragic death of Carrie Fisher in 2016, fans have pondered what Disney will do with the character of Leia Organa. In The Last Jedi she was still alive at the movie's conclusion, with director Rian Johnson explaining the decision not to kill the character as one of utmost respect towards Fisher. It was hard enough losing the actress, so he didn’t want to impact her final performance by having to alter the plot too.
In the Vanity Fair preview, JJ Abrams admitted that, somehow, he’s able to pull it off. We know there are deleted scenes shot from The Force Awakens that will be reused but audiences are no doubt thinking HOW? How will those scenes play into the movie’s plot? And how big of a role will Leia have? December simply can’t come quick enough.
9 What Is C3PO’s First Line All About?
Anthony Daniels was more than happy to open up about the new Star Wars outing and he even elaborated on his first line of the movie. “The line that I couldn’t say was two words: ‘Common emblem’ … I just couldn’t say them,” he said.
But what the hell do they mean?! Common Emblem literally makes no sense to us all at the moment yet, as ever, fans are eager to know they’re all about. C3PO isn’t one to crack jokes so it seems unlikely that he’s using the words to mock or scorn someone. He isn’t the sort to issue rallying battle cries, either, so it seems rather unfathomable that he’d be using them to inspire the troops. Just what do they mean?
8 What Has Happened In The Last Year?
It would be an understatement to say that the previous Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, didn’t please all fans. It nearly sparked a riot with just about everybody, barring director Rian Johnson himself, having at least one thing to complain about. Among the issues people had with the blockbuster was the decision to stage the sequel immediately after its predecessor, The Force Awakens.
This time, however, Star Wars has opted to move time along by a full year. When we last saw our heroes their numbers had diminished significantly, with the majority of their crew dead and just a handful of key players left at the time. The First Order, led by Kylo Ren, were on the rise too. Have the Resistance rebuilt? Are the opposition still in the ascendancy? Is the galaxy in a state of turmoil with Ren now in charge? Alas, all questions we want to know.
7 Who Is Jannah?
Even before the Vanity Fair special, we were introduced to the character of Jannah, who will be played by Naomi Ackie. However, the article again suggested that Disney were going out of their way to keep her origins under wraps, fuelling speculation that she may be related to, or at least linked to, somebody we’ve seen on screen before.
And the obvious assumption is that she must be the offspring of Lando Calrissian. Obviously, Billy Dee Williams’ character was popular with the ladies of the galaxy and we know that he’s very much a ‘go with the flow’ sort of guy. It seems a safe bet to suggest that Jannah will be his daughter, with Lando likely to have had at least one child in the time since we last saw him. But is that too obvious? What if Disney surprise us all instead? Only time will tell.
6 What Will We Learn About Kylo Ren’s Past?
Another issue people had with The Last Jedi was its telling of how Kylo Ren turned to the dark side. Through his own flashback scenes, it’s suggested that he changed sides because he thought Luke Skywalker, his uncle and master, was going to kill him. In Luke’s eyes, we know this was not the case, but that he did mull over it. However, there’s still no real explanation.
The Rise of Skywalker, though, has promised to delve deeper into the story of Ben Solo. Will we know more about how Snoke enticed him into turning? Will we find out why he turned against his family? Will we even discover more about his connection to Darth Vader? Only time will tell. But when it comes to his transformation, we need answers.
5 And What About Rey?
While Kylo’s past is a huge mystery, so too is Rey’s. When fans left cinema screens after seeing The Force Awakens in 2015, they were adamant she was going to be a Skywalker. Upon leaving the Last Jedi two years later, however, the same watchers were again confused. Was she REALLY just a nobody? Or were we being deliberately misled?
JJ Abrams has admitted that with this movie, he feels unshackled and free. This time, he’s willing to do more than just merely pay homage - he’s taking it down a fresh and new path. Will that involve changing Rey’s backstory? Rian Johnson has said he would be fine if that happened. But whether Disney do or not could define how the entire trilogy is perceived.
4 What Are The Knights Of Ren All About?
Of all the pictures the Vanity Fair special gave us, the one of JJ Abrams standing in the desert with the Knights of Ren by his side is what has got pulses racing ahead of the Rise of Skywalker’s release. Not much is known about the characters, who were first seen in The Force Awakens but have yet to resurface in the time since.
The trailer for December’s blockbuster appears to show Kylo Ren bodyslamming one of the knights, which is interesting. We know Ben Solo has been their leader but is this about to change? And, if so, does this mean Kylo will switch allegiances or whether they have a bigger role to play than we all believed? One thing is sure, though. We’ll know more about them in just over six months time. And we can’t wait.
3 Is There Romance Ahead?
Star Wars has never overlooked love. In the original trilogy there was the triangle involving Luke, Leia and Han Solo. In the prequels, Anakin and Padme. And in the sequels, there could yet be love in store for a variety of characters, including Kylo Ren, Rey, Finn, Rose and Poe.
Adam Driver has called the relationship between his own character and Daisy Ridley’s as a ‘maybe-bond.’ Fans have been shipping the two or years and it is perfectly feasible they may end up together - even if it would anger a certain section of the fan base. Rey and Finn is possible too, as is Finn and Rose. Star Wars could even pair Finn and Poe together, with Oscar Isaac even teasing such a possibility. Past moments in the franchise suggest that love is in the air. But for who?
2 What Is This Connection?
Of all the lines in the Vanity Fair special, the words written abut Rey and Kylo certainly make for intriguing reading. It has been claimed that the relationship between the duo will ‘run even deeper than we thought.’ While the newer Star Wars fans have, almost too much at times, tried to emulate the original material the connection between the saga’s main two characters is fresh ground.
There are theories aplenty about what it can mean. Are they both the work of an external force? Are they drawn to each other via love? Are they Harry Potter and Voldemort-esque, where neither can live while the other survives? We need answers. Now.
1 How Will Emperor Palpatine Fit In?
There was no mention of Sheev Palpatine in the Vanity Fair preview. But that itself raises so many questions. How will he return? Is he really going to come back from the dead? Or is it all just a ruse to get Star Wars fans back on-side again following the poor box office reception to Solo last year?
Palpatine coming back, in one way or another, is huge. He is the ultimate villain of the saga and his return could see Kylo and Rey unite in order to bring him down. Since the first Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer dropped, fans have been eager to know more. That Disney are keeping everything under wraps suggests there’s big surprises ahead that they simply don’t want you knowing yet. And that’s why this movie has the potential to be a Star Wars masterclass later this year.