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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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 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 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!