Are you freaking out? Because we’re freaking out.
At Star Wars Celebration Chicago, J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and the cast of Star Wars Episode IX blessed us with a title, a teaser, and some very coy answers to host Stephen Colbert’s questions.
The first questions were about filling the void that Carrie Fisher left upon her death in 2016, but Abrams said that rather than CGI her or have someone else play her (because obviously, you can’t), they found a way to make extra footage from The Force Awakens work. “What if we could write scenes around her?”
Upon filling the void left by Carrie Fisher. JJ: "We couldn't. She was the best. She was glorious, amazing. You don't recast that part or just have her disappear." #StarWarsCelebration
— The Nerds of Color (@TheNerdsofColor) April 12, 2019
Abrams also revealed that Episode IX picks up a few years after The Last Jedi. How much time, they were a little cagey on, but it sounds like three years or more. But our merry band of heroes go on an adventure together, so they won’t be separated like they were in TLJ.
After Colbert realized he wasn’t getting any specific answers about the movie from J.J. and Kathleen, he tossed away his questions sheet and brought out the cast! Anthony Daniels and R2-D2 came out and Daniels gave us the almost title of his book (coming out tomorrow at Celebration!): Telling the Odds. Apparently, however, his publisher thought it wouldn’t be understood worldwide, but we’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow to find out the real one.
Then Billy Dee Williams came out and man was it good to see him. His voice is still like molasses and he seems thrilled to be Lando again. “Lando never left me.” And he wears the yellow Gordon Gartell shirt!
We were then introduced to Naomi Ackie, who plays a mysterious (to us, because they didn’t tell us anything about her) character named Jannah. All we know is that her hair is GORGEOUS and she may or may not be related to Lando. “Lando is a very charming man, so he could have children all over the universe, that’s all I’m saying.” Whoever Jannah is, she looks like a BOSS. (Also, does her outfit remind anyone of a certain former Millennium Falcon owner?)
The rest of the cast were also as tight-lipped as expected, but we learned that Finn gets his own look (no more borrowing his
boyfriend’s jacket), Poe has a Very Rick O’Connell look about him with his new scarf, Rey may have read those Jedi texts she pilfered from Ahch-to, and Kylo Ren won’t be shirtless again (to the disappointment of a good portion of the crowd).
We don’t get any answers on whether Rose joins the group on their upcoming adventure or how she’s doing after her coma or if love of her life Finn chooses her (or one his many other suitors), but we confirm that she has scenes with Rey! (Please pass Bechdel, please pass Bechdel, please pass Bechdel.)
Joonas Suotamo spoke about continuing the great Peter Mayhew’s legacy and bringing his son — dressed as an Ewok! — to set (to the delight of everyone, but especially Daisy Ridley). Then we met the new droid D0, BB-8’s newest pal, and then it was off to the races. And by races I mean our hearts were racing as the trailer sent us all into a tizzy.
What do you think of today’s Star Wars Celebration reveals? Who is the Skywalker that rises (my money is on Palpatine — never forget his conversation with Anakin in Revenge of the Sith)? How can a Skywalker rise when it’s the “end” of the nine-film Skywalker Saga?! What new Jedi powers will Rey display, beyond outstanding acrobatics while wielding a lightsaber? Who does Finn choose to share his heart with? It’s the middle of a war, but we all need love…
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will blast into theaters in December.