Considering we are only four months away from the release of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER and the end of the Skywalker Saga as we know it, you would think we’d know a lot more about the sequel than we currently do. Director J.J. Abrams has successfully managed to keep key details under his hat, building suspense for the ninth movie in the Star Wars saga that will finally conclude on December 20.
However, Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm did let some details on STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER slip during the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, and AMC was there to absorb all of the juicy facts.
For starters, it was revealed who “The Americans” star Keri Russell will be playing in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, and that’s a huge surprise. Named Zorii, she is neither a member of the First Order nor the Resistance, but rather represents the regular people who are affected by the ongoing struggle between good and evil in the galaxy.
From the stage of D23, Russell revealed that her character is a criminal who has a connection to one of the characters we have been following since STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Yes, she’s a one-time lover of Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac.
“She has a little bit of a checkered past and maybe some questionable morals, but she’s really an old friend of Poe’s,” Russell told Variety in an interview following the STAR WARS panel at D23. “I think the entrance of Zorii is there to describe more of who he was. Y’know, in a very intimate way and a familiar way, and the friends are sort of like, ‘What do you mean, you know him?’”
The STAR WARS panel at D23 placed some focus on new characters like Zorii. But it also placed a significant amount of attention on the old characters that have carried the series to this point. The legacy of the Skywalker Saga was critical to the lead up to STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, and all of the films in the STAR WARS series were showcased in a fantastic tribute video, which Lucasfilm showed in Anaheim and recently released.
The takeaway from that footage reel? The moment that got everyone’s social media channels buzzing? It has to be the reveal of a Dark Side Rey (Daisy Ridley) who appears at the end of the clip.
What could this mean? A heel turn for the hero of the first two STAR WARS movies? A dream sequence or a vision planted in Rey’s mind by Palpatine about what her future could look like if she joins him on the Dark Side? We can't imagine that J.J. Abrams would let a significant plot twist like that get into a trailer. This is probably misdirect, meant to get fans talking. Well, it worked.
Speaking of talking, AMC spoke with the cast of STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER following the D23 panel in Anaheim, and here’s what they told us about working on the anticipated sequel.
We will know more as the movie approaches. J.J. Abrams’ STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER will be in AMC theatres everywhere on December 20.