As we begin to approach the theatrical release of the ninth Star Wars film in late December, Lucasfilm has begun to slowly loosen its Force grip on the secrets surrounding The Rise of Skywalker. During its "Triple Force Friday" toy presentations last week, the company teased two never-before-seen characters who will make their franchise debut in the upcoming movie. One of them is called "Babu Frik," and was described as a droid maker. Babu also happens to be one of Anthony Daniels' favorite new characters in Episode IX.
Today we got an even better glimpse of Frick via a tweet from the official Star Wars Twitter account. Resembling a being that wouldn't be out of place in the Dark Crystal universe, Babu is further proof of the new trilogy's efforts to embrace the practical puppetry and effects of the original three movies. When stacked against the heavy use of CGI and green screen in the prequels, there's just no comparison for something an actor can actually see and react to.
Check out Babu Frick in all of his physical glory below ...
"The tiny Anzellan droidsmith, first glimpsed in toy form during the Triple Force Friday livestream event, works among the Spice Runners of Kijimi and can reprogram or modify virtually any droid — regardless of the security measures protecting its systems," reads the official description of Frick.
Given his vocation and Daniels' fondness for the character, we wonder if Frick has anything to do with that red-eyed C-3PO we saw in the D23 trailer. Is 3PO going to be modified somehow by this Anzellan droidsmith?
The character reveal was also a chance for Lucasfilm to announce a contest that will see a lucky fan attend the world premiere on Episode IX in Los Angeles. In addition, the company unveiled eight new brand partnerships for the impending cinematic release, with United Airlines, Porsche, Bose, Samsung, General Electric, McDonald's, General Mills, and Dannon.
Aside from Babu Frick, there was a ton of secrecy surrounding another new face to the series called "Boolio." Based on his Lego figurine, Boolio is a horned, lizard-like alien, but beyond that we know absolutely nothing else about him. As if tacitly confirming his major role within the IX plot, several cast members clammed up as soon as he was brought out during the demonstrations.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters everywhere Friday, Dec. 20.