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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!
    The return of Ewan McGregor to the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi has been rumoured and speculated about for years, and now several news outlets, including Variety and The Guardian, are reporting that fans will finally get their wish.
    The role of the Jedi Knight made famous by Sir Alec Guinness first became McGregor's in 1999's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and he continued in the role throughout the Star Wars prequels. Kenobi was previously all but confirmed to return in a standalone movie before the spin-off anthology films were canned, following the underwhelming (according to Disney execs) performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story. 
    The new word on the grapevine is that Disney has commissioned a TV series that will develop the story of Obi-Wan, with McGregor signing on for his return. The show would presumably be set during the dark times between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and follow the exiled Kenobi on Tatooine.
    The series would of course find a home on the Disney+ streaming service which launches later this year, and would sit alongside The Mandalorian and the as yet untitled Cassian Andor series.
    No concrete details have been revealed yet, but with the Disney D23 Expo just around the corner, we are sure to hear something very soon, but until we see Ewan McGregor walk out on stage with a cheeky "hello there!" I certainly wouldn't blame anybody for taking this news with a hefty pinch of salt.
    Disney has revealed the premiere date and trailer for the second season of it's Emmy nominated animated show Star Wars Resistance.
    The show returns to the Disney Channel on Sunday 6 October and see Kaz and the team continue their fight against the First Order. The show takes place before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and will see some familiar faces cross over to join the cast.
    Check out the Star Wars: Resistance Season 2 trailer below:
     
    At San Diego Comic-Con this weekend there was a plethora of Star Wars authors in attendance with some new announcements to reveal. 
    Marvel Comics will be releasing a 4-issue comic mini series called The Rise of Kylo Ren, as announced by Marvel writer Charles Soule who has penned a number of character driven stories since Marvel took over publishing of Star Wars comics. Artwork revealed for the comic shows the Knights of Ren, and we will undoubtedly be getting some more details to Ben Solo's fall from grace and journey to becoming Snoke's apprentice.
    Other interesting reveals include Return to Vader's Castle, a horror-themed comic to be released around Halloween. Focusing on the bad guys of Star Wars, Cavan Scott continues the theme of last years Tales from Vader’s Castle and recreates the classic archetypes in the Star Wars universe. "Long ago, Grand Moff Tarkin created a monster,” said Scott, “who’s now coming after him.”
    Force Collector, which forms part of the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker publishing project comes from the Emmy Award winning author Kevin Shinick, who will be capturing the sense of that time we didn't know all about that galaxy far, far away, as the character learns about the Force through the history of objects he comes across, in a time without the Jedi.



     
    You can find much more information and more glorious comic covers on the StarWars.com article.
    A sneak peek at upcoming Disney+ TV series The Mandalorian will be shown at the Disney D23 Expo, it has been revealed.
    The presentation on 23 August at will feature appearances from both Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni plus other special guests.
    Footage from The Mandalorian was previously shown at Star Wars Celebration Chicago earlier this year but was not officially released you the public outside the event. It is expected that this time around the footage will be released, giving many people their first real look at the show, especially as the show is due to premiere with the launch of Disney+ later this year.
    In other news, Favreau revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he had already started writing the second series of The Mandalorian, adding that he's "having a blast".
    The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as the titular bounty hunter, and is set in the period after the classic Star Wars trilogy, and will be released on 12 August 2019 on Disney+.
    Stormtrooper themed products and exhibits available at San Diego Comic-Con next week have revealed a new iteration of the ubiquitous Star Wars bad guys.
    The so-called Sith Trooper will appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this December and sports a bright red hue not too dissimilar to the classic Imperial Royal Guard first seen in Star Wars:  Episode IV - Return of the Jedi. It is unknown what role these Sith Troopers will play in the movie, especially since the Sith were destroyed (weren't they?).
    The reveal comes amidst the inevitable raft of licensed merchandise and exclusives to be found at the premier convention for geeks of all fandoms, and brings with it the announcement of an exclusive exhibit showcasing the evolution of the Stormtrooper. Madlyn Burkert of the Lucasfilm archives, who is co-producing the exhibit at the Lucasfilm Pavillion said "It has some really unique aesthetics to it, and it has some subtle ties to previous stormtrooper designs, which I think fans will enjoy discovering."
    The new Sith Trooper themed merchandise includes Funko Pop!, Hasbro Black Series, backbacks, exclusive pins, kids customes, and more. Check out the StarWars.com Sith Trooper reveal for a more comprehensive list and pictures.
    Daisy Ridley has said during an interview with Vulture, that she can't imagine playing Rey again after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
    These comments came when Ridley was asked about the possibility of seeing Rey again in one of the movies that Disney and Lucasfilm have mapped out for the next few years. 
    The Rise of Skywalker has a very satisfying conclusion that "feels like an end", according to Ridley, who went on to explain that filmmakers have a lot of other stories to cover.
    She didn't rule it out, however, so even if we don't see Rey or her costars in the upcoming new trilogy helmed by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss, she may reappear in the future should the opportunity present itself.
    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on 19 December.
    Diego Luna, who played rebel spy Cassian Andor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has hinted that filming on his character's live action Star Wars TV show is due to start filming very soon. 
    During an interview with Mexican news source El Siglo de Torreon, Luna confirmed that he has already received scripts for the series and is expecting filming to start "soon". It was previously reported that filming for this series would be starting in October this year which could still fit within the definition of "soon", but this news could also mean that production is starting earlier than expected.
    The show is set to be a rousing spy thriller which will fill in new details about Cassian Andor and the rebellion prior to the events of Rogue One, with Stephen Schiff (The Americans) on board as Executive Producer and showrunner. 
    It's expected that the Cassian Andor TV show will release exclusively on the Disney+ streaming service in 2021. 
    Meanwhile, the first Star Wars live action TV show The Mandalorian is currently in production and will release with Disney+ in Novemeber 2019.
    Respawn and EA have released an extended cut of the Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay footage.
    The new video adds extra depth to the gameplay demo, revealing a little more of the story driven aspect of the game as well as showing a few sneaky tidbits that we missed out on the first time around.
    Jedi: Fallen Order game director Stig Asmussen has responded to criticism that the the gameplay seems to lack depth, saying that the demo footage didn't show the complexity of the combat system as it shows a more focused play-through to better show the narrative and attention to detail that has been put into recreating the Star Wars universe.
    He also reiterated the game's inspiration from other titles such as Metroid and Castlevania, which wasn't clear from the demo footage either.
    Check out the extended gameplay footage below:
    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will be released this November, and is already available to preorder.
    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.
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