Friday July 3rd, 2020 6:50AM

'The Rise of Skywalker' is title for next 'Star Wars' film

By The Associated Press

"No one is ever really gone," says the voice of Luke Skywalker in the first teaser trailer for "Star Wars: Episode IX," which audiences finally learned will be called "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" Friday at a fan event in Chicago.

The closely guarded film from director J.J. Abrams will put an end to the Skywalker saga that began over 40 years ago, but even as characters and actors have passed on, the footage shown at Star Wars Celebration suggests that as with all "Star Wars" films, death is just a technicality a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Mark Hamill's Skywalker may have died at the end of the most recent installment but his voice dominates the teaser trailer, telling someone, possibly Daisy Ridley's Rey, that, "this is your fight now." And audiences got a tantalizing tease from another figure from the past: Emperor Palpatine from the original and prequel trilogies, whose ominous laugh closes out the promotional spot.

Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa is back as well, despite the actress's untimely passing in Dec. 2016, thanks to unused footage from "The Force Awakens" which Abrams was able to craft into its own narrative for this new film.

"You can't just recast and you can't just have her disappear," Abrams said. "The idea of having a CG character wasn't even an option."

He's currently in the process of editing and adding visual effects to the film which will hit theaters on Dec. 20 and said that despite Fisher's death, "We're working with her every day."

"Princess Leia lives in this film in way that is mind-blowing to me," Abrams said.

Abrams was joined on stage at the event by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and actors and droids alike including Ridley, Oscar Isaac (Poe), John Boyega (Finn), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), newcomer Naomi Ackie, who plays a character named Jannah, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and even Billy Dee Williams, who reprises his role as Lando Calrissian in the new film after decades away.

"How did I find Lando again?" Williams said. "Lando never left me."

"Star Wars" superfan Stephen Colbert moderated the panel, doing his best to get the tight-lipped cast and creators to reveal anything about the film. Although no one cracked under pressure, Abrams did reveal some previously known details, like the fact that "The Rise of Skywalker" will pick up "some time" after the events of "The Last Jedi."

"This is an adventure that the group goes on together," he teased, although he wouldn't reveal whether or not that meant the group on stage or some other combination.

"This movie is about this new generation and what they've inherited, the light and the dark," Abrams added. "As they face this greatest evil, are they prepared?"

Besides Hamill, another person who wasn't in attendance was Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver, who as the son of Han Solo and Leia is the only known Skywalker left.

When prodded about what will happen with the complex relationship between Kylo and Rey, Ridley demurred, "I guess the Kylo and Rey thing, we'll have to see."

She added: "I think I can confirm there are no more semi-naked Kylos." That's a reference to the scenes of a shirtless Driver in "The Last Jedi" that surprised fans.

Although fans are salivating for any morsel of information, the panelists stayed as vague as possible, and kept things light-hearted debating questions like "who's a better pilot: Poe or Han" and even taking a break so that the audience could sing an unprompted Happy Birthday to Ridley, who turned 27 on Wednesday.

Kennedy, quoting George Lucas, said however that "Episode IX" is indeed the third act of a three-act structure.

But, predictably, there are still more questions than answers when it comes to "The Rise of Skywalker," especially what will come after.

The Lucasfilm and Disney collaboration has proved to be a lucrative one since Disney purchased the company in 2012 for $4 billion. Disney's first two "Star Wars" films, "The Force Awakens" and "The Last Jedi" and its spinoffs, "Rogue One" and "Solo," have already grossed more than $4.8 billion at the worldwide box office.

As of now, there is a future for "Star Wars" on the big screen, but details are sparse and dates are non-existent. "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson is working on a new "Star Wars" trilogy and "Game of Thrones" showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are also at work on a "movie series."

Lucasfilm is expanding its small screen universe too beyond "The Clone Wars" with the Jon Favreau-directed series "The Mandalorian," which will be available on Disney's streaming service, DisneyPlus, when it launches on Nov. 12, and there will be a "Rogue One" spinoff series focused on Diego Luna's character Cassian Andor. With the company's acquisition of 21st Century Fox's entertainment properties, too, Lucas' original trilogy and prequels will also be available on the service.

But who's got time to think about the future when there are over two minutes of brand new footage from "The Rise of Skywalker" to dissect?


Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter:

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Movies News, APOnline Celebrity News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sudanese army refuses to extradite ousted president
Sudanese army says it won't extradite deposed President al-Bashir, wanted for genocide, but will try him at home
2:10PM ( 7 minutes ago )
'The Rise of Skywalker' is title for next 'Star Wars' film
Fans finally learn the title for 'Star Wars: Episode IX,' and get a first look at the final installment in the franchise's third trilogy.
2:03PM ( 14 minutes ago )
German students have algorithm for Game of Thrones deaths
Spoiler alert: Computer science students at the Technical University of Munich have developed an application that scours the internet for data on the popular Game of Thrones series, and uses an algorithm to predict which characters survive.
1:57PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump says he may send 'Illegal Immigrants' to Dem districts
President Donald Trump says he is considering sending "Illegal Immigrants" to Democratic strongholds _ just hours after White House and Homeland Security officials said the idea had been rejected.
1:52PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Homeless 'good Samaritan' gets probation in gas money scam
A homeless man has been sentenced to five years' probation after admitting last month that he conspired with a couple to scam the public out of $400,000 in donations by concocting a feel-good story about him helping a motorist in distress
1:43PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Accused test taker in college scandal set to plead guilty
A Florida prep school administrator is set to plead guilty to taking entrance exams for students in a nationwide college admissions bribery scheme
1:20PM ( 57 minutes ago )
AP National News
Trump considered sending migrants to Democratic strongholds
The White House considered going after political opponents by pushing U.S. immigration authorities to release detained immigrants in "sanctuary cities."
12:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Pelosi says plan for immigrants 'disrespectful'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says rounding up immigrants and shipping them to sanctuary cities is "disrespectful" to the nation's challenges
12:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Sudan protesters want army handover immediately
The Latest: Sudanese protest movement calls on army to immediately hand over power to civilian transitional government
12:06PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: J.J. Abrams teases details about new 'Star Wars'
The Latest: J.J. Abrams teases details about new 'Star Wars,' says it doesn't pick up immediately after 'The Last Jedi'
12:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: J.J. Abrams: Leia lives in newest 'Star Wars'
The Latest: J.J. Abrams says he has been able to unused scenes from 'The Force Awakens' to bring Carrie Fisher's Leia character back for final installment in new trilogy
12:31PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: 4 shot near Nipsey Hussle procession route
A shooting killed one person and wounded three others near the funeral procession route for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle in South Los Angeles
12:01PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Disney unveils new streaming service to debut late this year
Disney says its new video streaming service will launch publicly as early as October this year
8:30PM ( 17 hours ago )
Geoffrey Rush wins case against Sydney newspaper publisher
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has won his defamation case against a Sydney newspaper publisher and journalist over reports he had been accused of inappropriate behavior toward an actress
5:47AM ( 1 day ago )
Donald Glover, Rihanna film 'Guava' to hit Amazon Saturday
Donald Glover, Rihanna film 'Guava Island' to hit Amazon Prime Video Saturday
11:29PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Movies News
Johnny Depp sues ex-wife for $50 million in defamation suit
Actress Amber Heard is asking a judge to dismiss a $50 million defamation lawsuit her ex-husband Johnny Depp filed over her Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence
9:32PM ( 16 hours ago )
Nipsey Hussle becomes face of downtown LA on day of memorial
Nipsey Hussle fans and mourners form a seas of black, white and blue outside Nipsey Hussle memorial in downtown Los Angeles
9:16PM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest: Nipsey Hussle procession pauses at rapper's shop
The Latest: Nipsey Hussle's funeral procession pauses outside the rapper's clothing store, The Marathon
9:04PM ( 17 hours ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Sudanese army refuses to extradite ousted president
Sudanese army says it won't extradite deposed President al-Bashir, wanted for genocide, but will try him at home
2:10PM ( 7 minutes ago )
German students have algorithm for Game of Thrones deaths
Spoiler alert: Computer science students at the Technical University of Munich have developed an application that scours the internet for data on the popular Game of Thrones series, and uses an algorithm to predict which characters survive.
1:57PM ( 21 minutes ago )
The Latest: Ex-Obama WH aide denies guilt in lobbying case
Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements and concealing information in a federal foreign lobbying investigation spun off from the Russia probe
1:54PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Chevron vaults into new league on $33B Anadarko acquisition
Chevron to spend $33 billion on Anadarko Petroleum as US energy prices take off
1:53PM ( 25 minutes ago )
The Latest: Envoy: Military to ensure civilian government
Sudan's acting U.N. envoy says the military council that took power after overthrowing President Omar al-Bashir "will be the guarantor of a civilian government."
1:52PM ( 26 minutes ago )