A new poster for The Rise of Skywalker has just been released alongside the Star Wars 9 final trailer, and its included credits posthumously give Carrie Fisher the top billing in a touching tribute to the franchise star. On what would have been Fisher's 63rd birthday, the poster was released along with the final trailer for the anticipated sequel. The new one-sheet shows us a variety of characters from the movie in various poses, and most of us can agree that it's a pretty awesome poster. Better yet, a closer look at the credits on the bottom lists Fisher's name first after the title, giving the late actress the top billing for her posthumous role as General Leia Organa. Following Fisher's name is Mark Hamill, who will be playing her storyline brother Luke Skywalker, in what will be his final time in the iconic role.
Sadly, Carrie Fisher left us in 2016, passing away way too soon at the age of 60. Her presence is still very much missed, and because of just how important she was for the movie series, writer-director J.J. Abrams worked some movie magic to include her in the final installment of the Skywalker Saga. Along with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer Chris Terrio, the crew repurposed unused footage of Fisher in character from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi for use in The Rise of Skywalker, building scenes specifically around her to ensure she would have a presence in the movie. Of course, nothing would be better than having Fisher still here to play the role herself, but the effort the filmmakers have gone to include her is certainly a touching tribute.
Fisher first began playing the role of Leia in 1977 with the original Star Wars movie from writer-director George Lucas, where she was introduced as the Princess of Alderaan. She returned for the 1980 sequel The Empire Strikes Back, which was where she first falls in love with Harrison Ford's character Han Solo. She reprised the role in the third installment of the original trilogy in 1983's Return of the Jedi, where it was revealed she was Darth Vader's daughter and Luke Skywalker's sister. This would mark the last time Fisher played the part until 2015 when she was brought back as Leia for The Force Awakens and was featured posthumously in the 2017 sequel The Last Jedi, as she had completed filming before passing away.
After previously stepping aside to let Rian Johnson direct the second installment of this new Star Wars trilogy, Abrams is back in the director's chair for to complete his work with the franchise. Along with Fisher and Hamill, The Rise of Skywalker also stars Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams. The movie will effectively conclude the nine-part Skywalker Saga with one more battle between the Resistance and the First Order, ending the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in theaters everywhere on Dec. 20, 2019. The pre-sale for tickets to showings of the movie are now live, though as they are selling out fast, you might want to get in on that soon to ensure you have a spot in the theater on the big day. While every Star Wars movie is a hit, there seems to be even more excitement for this installment than the previous movies. You can buy tickets now at Fandango and other movie ticket outlets.