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Star Wars News & Features

News and information from a Galaxy Far Far Away, and sometimes a little closer to home.
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (also known as Star Wars Episode IX) is the third and final film of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, continuing and bringing to a close the story threads set in motion in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. But what do we really know about the ninth chapter of the Star Wars saga?
    This article will be regularly updated as new information is confirmed, and we'll avoid rumours so you can be sure you have the facts.
    Spoiler Warning
    While I don't intend to reveal major plot spoilers here, please be aware that due to the nature of this article some may remain as the presence of some characters may give away some details. If in doubt, go read something else!
    Last updated: May 2019
    Newest Information
    Matt Smith and Dominic Monaghan have both been removed from cast lists on official Disney websites.
    Keri Russell's character is Zorri Bliss, who we will meet in the Thieves' Quarter on a new planet called Kijimi.
    Rochard E Grant's character is Allegiant General Pryde, an office of the First Order.
    A new species of creature called "orbak" has been introduced, and promotional imagary shows Jannah (Naomi Ackie) and Finn riding these.
    The natives of the planet Pasaana have been revealed. They are called the Aki-Aki and look somewhat similar to the Quarren.
    The presence of the Knights of Ren has been confirmed,
    See also: The Rise of Skywalker: New characters revealed
    Teaser Trailer
    Release Date
    Star Wars Episode IX is currently set for release on 20 December 2019.
    Disney had initially announced the release date as 24 May 2019, but this was pushed back due to production delays.
    Production
    Principal photography began at Pinewood Studios near London on 1st August 2018, and is expected to complete in February 2019. Some scenes have also been filmed in Wadi Rum, Jordan.
    The working title is “Black Diamond”. IMAX cameras will be used to film some sequences.
    The film's soundtrack will once again be scored by Star Wars veteran John Williams. Williams has said that this will be his final Star Wars movie.
    In February 2018, Paul Inglis joined as the Lead Supervising Art Director. He had previously worked on Blade Runner 2049, Prometheus, and Skyfall.
    Principle photography wrapped on 15 February 2019, as announced by director JJ Abrams.
    Brian Herring wrapped up as operator of BB-8 on 1st February, and Anthony Daniels finished C-3PO's last scenes on 28 January.
    Setting
    Around a year has passed since the events of The Last Jedi, according to John Boyega.
    Cast and Crew
    Cast confirmed:
    Daisy Ridley as Rey Adam Driver as Kylo Ren John Boyega as Finn Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata Domhnal Gleeson as General Hux Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian Billie Lourd as Lieutenant Connix Greg Grunberg as Temmin "Snap" Wexley Naomi Ackie as Jannah Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine Anthony Daniels as C-3P0 Jimmy Vee as R2-D2 Brian Herring as BB-8 and D-O Richard E Grant as Allegiant Admiral Pryde Keri Russell as Zorri Bliss Crew confirmed:
    Director - JJ Abrams Writers - JJ Abrams, Chris Terrio Producers - Kathleen Kennedy, JJ Abrams, Michelle Rejwan Cinematographer - John Schwartzman Art Director - Paul Inglis Music - John Williams Director
    JJ Abrams is returning to direct Episode IX, with Kathleen Kennedy producing. It was previously slated to be directed by Colin Trevorrow, who worked closely with The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to ensure continuity between their respective movies. Trevorrow left the project in September 2017 due to “creative differences”. Disney had to pay off Paramount Pictures to secure Abrams, as he had breached contract with them for The Force Awakens.
    Carrie Fisher
    Carrie Fisher was due to have a major role in Episode IX as General Leia Organa. When she tragically passed away in December 2016 the story team “pretty much started over”, according to Kathleen Kennedy.
    Lucasfilm was quick to quash rumors that Leia would be digitally recreated, similar to Tarkin’s appearance in Rogue One. Fisher's brother and daughter have granted rights for Lucasfilm to use recent footage of her, but Kennedy has since stated that Fisher will not be in Episode IX.
    In July 2018 it was announced that with the blessing of Fisher's family unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi will be used to allow the inclusion of Leia.
     
    Sadly I am not all-knowing. If I've missed something or have made an error, please let me know in the comments below!
    Lucasfilm has appointed Michelle Rejwan to the post of Senior Vice President of Live Action Development & Production, to oversee the future ofof Star Wars live action TV and film projects.
    Rejwan has worked with JJ Abrams on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the upcoming final installment of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Her other film credits with Abrams include Star Trek Into Darkness and Super 8.
    The Mandalorian and the untitled Cassian Andor series are currently under production for Disney+, and more Star Wars films are in the pipeline, so Rejwan will undoubtedly have input into these projects as she undertakes her new role within Lucasfilm.
    Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2020 has been announced! The world's biggest celebration of all things Star Wars will return to the Anaheim Convention Center in California on 27 - 30 August 2020, with tickets available for purchase from 21 June 2019 at 9am PT.
    Star Wars Celebration will be hosted by Lucasfilm and ReedPOP, and as is now a firmly established tradition the convention will take a retrospective look at Star Wars past as well as looking to the future of the franchise. 
    Details of the exclusive panels and events as well as the special guests including cast and crew members have not yet been revealed, but are sure to be announced over the coming year on the official Celebration website at StarWarsCelebration.com.
    Marvel Comics will release a new five issue mini-series this September, that will serve as a prequel to the Respawn Entertainment video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and introduce some of the game's characters.

    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - Dark Temple has been written by Matthew Rosenberg (Uncanny X-Men and The Punisher) and illustrated by Paolo Villanelli (Vader: Dark Visions) in collaboration with Respawn Entertainment and Lucasfilm to ensure continuity across the saga.
    The story of Jedi: Fallen Order - Dark Temple focuses on Jedi Master Eno Cordova and his padawan Cere Junda, after the Jedi Council sends them on a mission to the planet Ontotho to oversee the excavation of a mysterious temple that has been discovered. Things do not go to plan, and the pair find themselves embroiled in a war between local resistance forces and security troops. 
    While little has been given away so far, there are a few things that we can infer or speculate upon. 
    Timeline
    Eno and Cere are sent on the mission by the Jedi Council, so the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith have clearly not happened yet, or at least not at the start of the mini-series.
    In the details given so far for Jedi: Fallen Order Cere has been described as a former Jedi Knight, but here she is listed as merely a padawan.
    Jedi Master
    Eno Cordova appears to be a new character. If Cere is due to graduate as a fully fledged Jedi Knight by the end of the mini-series, could Master Cordova's next padawan be Cal Kestis?
    Also, this is pure wild speculation here, but am I the only one that sees a resemblance between Eno Cordova and actor Tony Amendola, well known for lending his voice to video game characters?
    Location
    Ontotho seems to be a brand new planet. Respawn developers have already stated that there is more than one new planet that has been created for Jedi: Fallen Order. The game starts on Bracca, so that's one; could we also be headed to Ontotho during the course of our journey as Cal Kestis?
    Lego Star Wars fans rejoice! TT Games has announced that a new game is coming our way, with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga set for release next year.
    Bringing the trademark humour we have come to expect from Lego games back to a galaxy far far away is an all new adventure spanning the nine films of the Skywalker Saga. Judging from the details released so far it does not appear to be a simple repackaging of the previous Lego Star Wars titles, and will will instead retell the entire story through the prequel, classic, and sequel eras. 
    Check out the trailer below!
     
    Respawn Entertainment today revealed gameplay footage for Jedi: Fallen Order at EA Play's livestream event.
    You can check out the fifteen minutes of gameplay footage that was shown during the event below.
    The footage shows new combinations of Force powers that indicate that use of the Force during combat may more nuanced than we've seen in previous Star Wars games. 
    The developers have promised what they called "thoughtful combat" where rather than simply swinging a lightsaber, you will need to time your swings, blocks, and parties to ensure your success.
    The mission seen in the video occurs on the wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, and we also spotted protagonist Cal Kestis meeting with Saw Gerrera, who fans will recognise from Star Wars Rebels and Rogue One.
    More details are sure to follow during E3.
    Respawn Entertainment and Lucasfilm have revealed new key art for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order ahead of the EA Play live stream set to reveal long-awaited gameplay footage of the upcoming single-player story-driven action adventure game. 

    We now have a more detailed look at Cal Kestis, the former Jedi padawan and survivor of Order 66, who will be our main character in Jedi: Fallen Order along with some other interesting details. Cal appears to be holding the damaged lightsaber we have already seen in the artwork and reveal trailer for the game. The grounded Venator-class Star Destroyer in the background looks to be the one also seen being dismantled in the trailer, in what is presumed to be an early part of the game. 
    There is a strong Imperial presence in the poster, which not unexpected considering the era in which Jedi: Fallen Order is set; AT-ATs, AT-STs, and TIE fighters can all be seen as can the Second Sister Inquisitor and a pair of the new Purge Troopers. 
    Respawn and Lucasfilm will be hosting a livestream at EA Play tomorrow which promises to give us a glimpse of gameplay footage. You can watch the stream live on YouTube at 9:30 am PT (check the event calendar for your local time).
    Jedi: Fallen Order will be released on 15 November 2019.
    Tim Rose who played Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi has expressed his disappointment with the way his character was killed off in The Last Jedi.
    Rose was also disappointed that Ackbar, a fan favourite character by any standard, was not given a larger role in the sequel trilogy and was essentially used as a joke at the end of filming.
    Here's the full interview with YouTuber Jamie Stangroom (whose channel is well worth a subscribe, by the way):
     
    The run up to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is, as expected, full of rumour and speculation due to the lack of concrete details being released by Disney and Lucasfilm, but one fan theory concerning Rey has been laid to rest by Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo. 
    When asked whether Han Solo was Rey's father, Hidalgo flat out shut down the long-established theory.
    The theory hinges on Han and Leia's estrangement, which was clear from The Force Awakens, but Hidalgo's tweet confirms that this does not fit with the established canon timeline of events.
    So, who are Rey's parents?
    Although this has been a fairly huge discussion point amongst fans throughout production of the Star Wars sequels trilogy, Rian Johnson's take on the question during The Last Jedi would have us believe that Rey's parents were nobody special. Actress Daisy Ridley previously stated that she knew who Rey's parents were, and Episode IX's former director Colin Trevorrow had also said that the answer to the question would be satisfying as she was important to the saga.
    Of course, this was said before Trevorrow left the project due to creative differences, and while returning director JJ Abrams has remained tight-lipped about the facts of Rey's parentage he has promised that "there's more to the story than you've seen."
    Other theories point at John Williams' film score for hints, with Rey's theme containing motifs from both Luke Skywalker's and Darth Vader's themes. Then of course there is the rumour that she is a Palpatine, having been fathered by the erstwhile Emperor or conceived by his manipulation of the Force, and the surprise reveal of Ian McDiarmid at Celebration Chicago this year lends more weight to this theory. Further rumours still try to connect the dots to prove that Rey is the grand-daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
    Ultimately we'll find out if the question is answered when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released this December.
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