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.
Warning: Although we do not intend to reveal major spoilers here, please be aware that due to the nature of this article some may remain.
Last updated: April 2019
At Celebration 2019 the title and teaser trailer have been revealed. A new small droid called D-O was also shown, and Naomi Ackie's character was revealed to be named Jannah - the rumour about her being the daughter of Lando was neither confirmed nor denied.
The return of Palpatine was dismissed as "a tease" by actor Ian McDiarmid, but Kathleen Kennedy appeared to confirm his presence in The Rise of Skywalker during interviews at Celebration Chicago.
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.
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.
Around a year has passed since the events of The Last Jedi, according to John Boyega.
Cast and Crew
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 Richard E Grant Keri Russell Dominic Monaghan 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 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!
Want to know when the next Star Wars feature film is hitting the big screen? This list will be updated regularly to show details of the upcoming instalments of the Star Wars saga so you're always the know.
Last update: April 2019.
20 Dec 2019 - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Director: JJ Abrams
Summary: Episode IX will continue the main saga from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and will likely conclude the story arc of the sequel trilogy. It is expected that there will be a period of time that has passed since the end of the previous film.
See also: Everything we know about Episode IX
In April 2019 Lucasfilm and Disney have announced that Star Wars movies will be taking a hiatus for "a couple of years".
Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, stressed that both the Rian Johnson trilogy, and the David Benioff and DB Weiss series have not been cancelled.
2020 - A Star Wars Story
Summary: This project was once rumoured to be based on the story of fan-favourite bounty hunter Boba Fett, and was previously assigned to Josh Trank to direct. More recent rumours favour an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off, which Ewan McGregor has stated he would be happy to reprise his role for. It was reported in October 2018 that the Boba Fett film had been scrapped in favour of the the Jon Favreau television series, The Mandalorian.
Unknown - New Star Wars Trilogy
Director: Rian Johnson
Summary: Shortly before the release of The Last Jedi it was announced that director Rian Johnson would be working on a new trilogy of Star Wars films that were separate from the main episodic saga. It is speculated that this will pick up on some of the themes introduced in The Last Jedi and follow a new group of young Force users.
Unknown - New Star Wars Film or Series
Writers: David Benioff and DB Weiss
Summary: The creators of the television adaptation of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, Game of Thrones, were offered a film or series of films, possibly a trilogy. They have stated that work will not begin until the end of Game of Thrones, which airs it's final season in April 2019.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh episode of the Star Wars saga. Production was announced by George Lucas in 2011, years after initially claiming that the story of Star Wars ended with Return of the Jedi. In 2012 Lucas sold Lucasfilm, along with the entire Star Wars franchise, to The Walt Disney Company who then assembled a new team to rework Episode VII to their own design. This marks the start of a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, and effectively reboots the franchise by casting off the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, opening the doors for new stories to take place in various media.
The film was widely anticipated and went on to break several box office records, and is currently the third highest grossing film of all time, behind Avatar and Titanic (unadjusted for inflation, as of February 2016). It won a Bafta for Best Special Visual Effects at the 2016 British Academy Film Awards, and was the American Film Institute's Movie of the Year for 2015.
The Force Awakens is set roughly 30 years after the end of Return of the Jedi and follows new heroes Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron, as they assist the the Resistance in the fight against the evil forces of the First Order, which has risen from the ashes of the defeated Galactic Empire.