There’s no Jedi mind trick to get the tight-lipped Star Wars crew to blab
Fans of the epic film franchise were treated to the first trailer of “Episode IX” at Friday’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, where, among other scant details, the title was revealed: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
The splashy convention enlisted “The Late Show” host and super-fan Stephen Colbert, who wasted no time dropping his nerd knowledge.
“I just flew in from Dagobah and, boy, are my s-foils locked into fuel position,” he says. “And if you don’t know what that means, why are you here?”
Addressing how he could be in Chicago now, while his show films in New York City, he suggests he may have had help from “the force.”
“Who says I’m not voice projecting myself onto the stage right now?”
He first brings writer/director JJ Abrams and Star Wars chief Kathleen Kennedy on stage for a round of questioning. Ever the inquisitive interviewer, Colbert does not relent on his probing throughout the conference.
But JJ offers only this: “The movie doesn’t pick up immediately after the last film — some time has gone by … [but] this is an adventure the group goes on together.”
Talking about the last day of production, Kennedy adds, “It was emotional, and I can’t really give you details except to say that.” When Colbert follows-up asking who was present on that wrap day, Kennedy is evasive.
In defeat, Colbert says, “You brought me to Chicago to ask questions and not get answers.”
They also invite original Lando Calrissian actor Billy Dee Williams. When asked how he re-prepared for the role, a good-humored Williams quips, “How did I find Lando [Calrissian] again? Lando never left me!”
Nearly the entire cast appears, including Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe), Anthony Daniels (C3PO), Kelly Marie Train (Rose) and even Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo, who plays Chewbacca — and gives the audience a few words in Chewy’s native language Shyriiwook.
Indeed, precious little was revealed. But when they brought out the cast, fans were introduced to a few new characters, including a droid named D/O, which resembles a desk lamp on an ab roller, along with Jana, played by British actress Naomi Ackie.
“All I can really say is the original group is going on this epic adventure together, and I’m so excited about where Jana crosses paths with them. It’s wicked,” says Ackie.
The conference closes with the trailer, which launches with a panting Rey on a desert planet. She’s then seen with a light saber, running in attack towards a craft that resembles Kylo Ren’s command shuttle — though we don’t know who or what was flying the craft. In a voice over, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil) can be heard saying, “The thousand generations live in you now. This is your fight.”
We also see snippets of Kylo Ren repairing his helmet, a teary Rey hugging Princess Leia — who will be a part of Episode IX — and a laughing Lando piloting the Millennium Falcon while jumping out of hyperspace. The trailer ends with a cackling Emporer voice over, and a flash of ruins of the Death Star.
One thing’s certain: Nothing about this movie is certain.
“Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise Of Skywalker” will land in theaters December 20.