Published On: Wed, May 22nd, 2019

17 New Details We Learned About The Rise of Skywalker

A bunch of new information about the plot, characters, setting and more has been revealed.

A bunch of new information about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been revealed, including some plot details, new characters and planets, and more.

Vanity Fair has the scoop with their Rise of Skywalker cover story, which also features a bunch of new images shot by Annie Leibovitz on the set. Leibovitz shooting Star Wars is something of a tradition, so you can check out all those images here.

And read on for all the new info we’ve gleaned about Episode IX!

1. Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert served as the setting for the new planet Pasaana which is “on the edge of the galaxy.” In the desert, says Abrams, “there’s something about the way the sand interacts with the light.” Jordanian locals play the Aki-Aki, natives of the planet.

2. Keri Russell plays “the masked scoundrel Zorri Bliss,” seen in a photo in the Vanity Fair story in Thieves’ Quarter of the new snow planet Kijimi.

3. Richard E. Grant joins the Star Wars franchise as the First Order’s Allegiant General Pryde, who is pictured in Vanity Fair’s story with General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) on the bridge of Kylo Ren’s destroyer.

4. We will learn more about the origins of the First Order in Rise of Skywalker.

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5. “My first line would not go in my head!” Anthony Daniels (C-3P0) told Vanity Fair. “The line that I couldn’t say was two words: ‘common emblem.’ Common emblem, common emblem — I would say them thousands of times. My wife would say it back. I just couldn’t say them!”

6. Daniels also says that C-3P0 does something in this movie that surprises everybody — but he wouldn’t say what. “He keeps his clothes on. It’s not like he suddenly does this thing, but…”

7. Sources close to the movie tell Vanity Fair that The Rise of Skywalker “will at long last bring to a climax the millennia-long conflict between the Jedi Order and its dark shadow, the Sith.”

8. Finn and new character Jannah (Naomi Ackie) ride horse-like beasts called orbaks in the film.

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9. Kylo Ren and Rey’s connection “will turn out to run even deeper than previously revealed.” Also, they’re definitely facing off again in a lightsaber duel at some point.

10. Sources say Rey will have progressed in her training since the end of The Last Jedi to the point where it’s almost complete. “It’s nice having that shot at the beginning of the teaser,” Ridley told Vanity Fair, “because I think it’s quite a good visual representation of where she is now: confident, calm, less fearful… It’s still sort of overwhelming, but in a different way. It feels more right — less like inevitable and more like there’s a focus to the journey.”

11. The Rise of Skywalker picks up about a year after the end of The Last Jedi.

12. Aside from the droid D-O, who was introduced at Celebration and is seen here with BB-8, another new character is a “large banana-slug alien named Klaud.”

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13. Originally, director J.J. Abrams wrote Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd (who plays Lieutenant Connix) out of the scenes that include her late mother (via unused footage from The Force Awakens). But Lourd said she wanted to be in them, and so Abrams rewrote the scenes to include her. “And so, there are moments where they’re talking; there are moments where they’re touching,” Abrams told Vanity Fair. “There are moments in this movie where Carrie is there, and I really do feel there is an element of the uncanny, spiritual, you know, classic Carrie, that it would have happened this way, because somehow it worked. And I never thought it would.”

14. “I think [Finn’s] just an active member of the Resistance now,” Boyega told Vanity Fair. “Episode Eight, he couldn’t decide what team he was fighting for. But since then he’s made a clear decision.”

15. Poe becomes a Resistance leader in the film. “Whereas in the other films, Poe is this kind of lone wolf, now he’s really part of a group,” said Oscar Isaac. “They’re going out and going on missions and have a much more familiar dynamic now.”

16. Abrams (seen here on the set of The Force Awakens) said that he met with Lawrence Kasdan, who helped write The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and Solo, as well as The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and George Lucas himself to find an ending that could bring the nine-film saga to an appropriate end. “If a kid is watching all nine movies,” Abrams said, “he or she sees this one path, this inevitability and that’s the challenge of this movie.”

17. A photo of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker standing with R2-D2 in front of a blaze of some kind was also released by Vanity Fair, though what this means for Luke — is a Force Ghost or is this a flashback to the day his Jedi temple burned? — remains to be seen…

For even more on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, learn how Kylo Ren and Rey’s connection is “even deeper than we thought.” Or get a load of all those new Vanity Fair images from the film. Find out how J.J. Abrams is approaching The Rise of Skywalker differently. And get the details on the Knights of Ren’s role in the upcoming film.

Talk to Executive Editor Scott Collura on Twitter at @ScottCollura, or listen to his Star Trek podcast, Transporter Room 3. Or do both!

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17 New Details We Learned About The Rise of Skywalker