J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy unveiled some epic new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage at the D23 Expo this afternoon. However, said footage won't be available online until this Monday (August 26th). Thankfully, we have a good description of the footage for you to read before getting the real deal after the weekend. In addition to the footage shown, some of the cast of the highly anticipated movie took to the D23 stage and shed some light on their characters.
The Rise of Skywalker footage shown off at D23 begins with a shot of the binary sunset and scenes from A New Hope. From there, we were treated to scenes from Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, giving us a glimpse of the story told thus far. We're brought up to speed with The Last Jedi and then the new footage starts to take over. The energy in the room was electric as First Order ships cruised through space, but everything was sent over the top when the rain-soaked Lightsaber battle between Kylo Ren and Rey was revealed. The scene had previously been teased in the Vanity Fair coverage.
C-3PO was shown with glowing red eyes, Darth Vader's helmet from the previously leaked footage was shown, Finn with Naomi Ackie's Jannah, and a new shot of General Leia were also displayed on the big screen for the lucky D23 attendees. However, the money shot of The Rise of Skywalker footage came when Rey was featured in a dark cloak with a double red light saber. Has Rey moved to the Dark Side?
Billy Dee Williams took to the D23 stage and said, "Lando has never left me," which is clearly evident. But the crowd got a nice surprise when Ian McDermott said he can't believe the ending for The Rise of Skywalker... but, "what an ending. ... You'll love it." J.J. Abrams says Leia is the heart of the story and says Carrie Fisher was "magical." So far, it looks like everything is shaping up to be even bigger than anyone was previously expecting, which is a lot.
Carrie Fisher was apparently able to predict that she and J.J. Abrams were going to be working together again, which goes to show just how in tune she was to the people around her. Rian Johnson also had a deep relationship with the Leia Organa actress, so Abrams' stories about her are no surprise, especially since they had worked together on 2015's The Force Awakens. Regardless, it looks and sounds like The Rise of Skywalker is going to be an absolutely massive way to put an end to the iconic Skywalker saga. While the footage isn't currently online now, check back here on Monday morning for a fresh helping of The Rise of Skywalker. Until then, you can check out the awesome new poster below, thanks to the Walt Disney Studios Twitter account.