The most highly anticipated film of the year is only two months away. As hard as it may be to believe, the Skywalker saga of Star Wars' central films will finally be coming to an end after 42 years with December's The Rise of Skywalker. Expectations are beyond high for this film, which has the truly unenviable task on its hands of providing a satisfactory conclusion to over four decades worth of storytelling.
If the early teasers and trailers are anything to go by, however, then we are definitely in for one amazing film and an epic conclusion to the saga of films we all know and so passionately love, regardless of which trilogy is your favorite. In this final film, there are plenty of beloved main characters whose stories need concluding. Here's how we think our heroes' and villain's journeys will end.
10 Lando Calrissian
It's clear that Star Wars has a lot of explaining to do when it comes to the whereabouts of everyone's favorite smooth talking swindler and businessman Lando Calrissian. As the last of the core legacy characters to make an appearance in the sequel trilogy, Lando already seems to be getting a hero's welcome in the footage glimpsed in teasers and trailers.
As for where Lando's story ends, it's very possible that Lando will have one of the most open-ended endings of all the series' main characters. With Han and Luke both dead, and Carrie Fisher tragically passing away, Lando represents the only real connection to the past heroes remaining. It'd be a real disappointment if Lando doesn't get to go on his merry way, charming new generations as always.
9 Leia Organa
As we just established, Carrie Fisher's tragic passing in 2016 inevitably will affect her role in The Rise of Skywalker. JJ Abrams and the production team were forced to make use of past unused footage of Fisher during production of the previous sequel films, which clearly implies a limited scope for her role, no matter how significant a role it might very well be.
Sadly, then, it's not hard to imagine that Leia will be given a heroic death in the film, though clearly one that happens off screen. While it would be ideal for Leia to have a happy ending after all that she's been through, it's not guaranteed that the footage available would have allowed for this story to happen.
8 Emperor Palpatine
It came as the biggest shock yet in the sequel trilogy, when the D23 teaser footage ended with Palpatine's signature, ominous villain laughter. How is it possible that he survived being thrown by Vader down into the pit of the Death Star 2.0?
Anything is possible in the world of Star Wars, of course. But it's clear that whatever nefarious plans Palpatine has in store for our heroes this time around, this is the battle that's going to put an end to him once and for all. Palpatine observes in the trailer that "your coming together will be your undoing" - likely referring to a team up of Rey and Kylo Ren. But if these movies have taught us anything, the predatory villain is almost always wrong in the end.
There's no denying that there's a pretty ominous vibe in the air regarding C-3PO's role in The Rise of Skywalker. Early teaser footage showed a glimpse of Threepio with bright red eyes, and the latest, final trailer for the film features the protocol droid being worked on by droidsmith Babu Frik and sentimentally commenting on taking one final look at his friends.
So what does the future hold for everyone's favorite uptight droid? It's very likely we're looking at a scenario similar to the end of Revenge of the Sith, where poor Threepio had his memory wiped in order to preserve the secrecy of Luke and Leia's whereabouts. What could cause this drastic measure to be taken again, however, remains a mystery.
In The Force Awakens, Finn was formerly known as FN-2187, a Stormtrooper who rebelled and joined the Resistance for real after posing as a self-professed "big deal." In The Last Jedi, Finn struggled with the Resistance, considering deserting them before proudly proclaiming himself "rebel scum" in the film's final act.
In The Rise of Skywalker, Finn clearly actually is a big deal in the Resistance, taking part in major missions with other Resistance leaders. As to what the future holds for him, it's hard to say. Assuming a Resistance victory in the end, it's unclear where characters like Finn will end up. But his survival is all but guaranteed, as is a continuation of his romance with Rose.
5 Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron has arguably been one of the more frustrating characters in the sequel trilogy. A glorified plot device in The Force Awakens, Poe turned into a raging sexist and control freak in The Last Jedi. Thankfully, by the film's end, he seems to have gotten some sense literally and figuratively knocked into him.
Which is a good thing, seeing as Poe is clearly being prepared to take on a major role as a new leader figure within the Resistance. As with Finn, it's unclear what will happen to Poe once the Resistance isn't exactly needed anymore. But as the ostensible figurehead for the new generation of the Resistance fighters, he'll likely go on to have some sort of military-political career, in the same way Leia once did.
Chewbacca has been one of the most series' beloved and faithful characters since the earliest days of the original trilogy. As Han Solo's right hand wookiee, and now Rey's quasi mentor figure, the fiercely protective and badass beast has had his fair share of heroic moments in the saga.
But The Rise of Skywalker could present the first time that Chewbacca is actually put in real danger for once. Eagle eyed trailer viewers have noticed that Chewbacca's bandolier and bowcaster are behind Rey and Kylo Ren during a fight scene in First Order territory, implying that Chewbacca might be at risk. But there's no way this saga ends without the beloved wookiee standing tall.
3 Rose Tico
Rose Tico was one of the most welcome surprises to come out of The Last Jedi. Starting off as a humble mechanic working security to prevent any deserters from escaping, Rose ended the film as a total Resistance hero, nearly sacrificing herself to prevent Finn from doing just that.
Intel for The Rise of Skywalker has so far confirmed a significant promotion for Rose, who is now Commander Rose Tico, and a humble mechanic no more. While Poe is out in the field on missions, Rose is clearly postured as the brains of the operation back at the headquarters alongside Leia. Her endgame in the series is likely secure, featuring a prominent political position in a post-First Order world, and a continued romance with Finn.
2 Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren has had arguably the most interesting arc out of all the new sequel trilogy characters. As the son of galactic legends Han Solo and Leia Organa, the boy once known as Ben Solo fell to the dark side and became the man known as Kylo Ren, following years of isolation and manipulation by Snoke, and betrayal at the hands of his uncle Luke Skywalker.
Yet even though it would have been easy for the trilogy to paint him as a clear cut over the top villain, that's not the narrative they've taken at all. If anything, Kylo Ren is portrayed as a Byronic hero - brooding and tortured and struggling with his demons and with an endgame of redemption all but a done deal. Whether that endgame also includes romance with a certain female Jedi remains to be seen.
Rey has had quite the transformation since the moment we met her in The Force Awakens. The girl once known as no one, a scavenger from the desert planet of Jakku, has become the most prominent figure in the Resistance, and currently represents the last and only Jedi as far as we know.
In the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, however, Rey is still struggling to find her place and secure her sense of identity. By the end of the film, it's clear that she will have finally settled upon her identity, and solidified her role as the galaxy's newest hero once and for all. Detours into the dark side notwithstanding, Rey is destined for the light - and maybe a conventional romantic happily ever after, too.