During Disney’s film presentation today at D23, Lucasfilm brought the entire cast of the forthcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on stage to talk about the film, and unveiled a behind-the-scenes featurette about the making of the film for audiences in the room.
The cast spoke about a variety of things during the panel. C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels noted that it was “hard for me to understand the story is ending, but what an ending. You’ll love it,” while Keri Russell said that her character was “very cool and a little bit shady. She’s kind of a criminal and old friend of Poe’s.”
Director J.J. Abrams spoke about the absence of Carrie Fisher, saying that “the character of Leia is the heart of this story. We couldn’t possibly tell the end of these nine films without Leia.”
Lucasfilm also unveiled a poster for the film, featuring Rey and Kylo Ren fighting one another, while a silhouette of Emperor Palpatine looks on in the background.
The studio didn’t release the footage for the public, but according to people in the audience, it featured footage of Rey wielding a red, double-bladed lightsaber (ala Darth Maul) that could fold up, along with footage of Rey and Kylo Ren fighting on a cliff in a torrent, fleets of Star Destroyers, and more. Hopefully, we’ll get to see that footage online before too much longer.
The Rise of Skywalker will hit theaters on December 20th, 2019.