The final chapter in Star Wars’ Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, has given fans a trailer and a photoshoot to mull over as this winter’s theatrical debut promises to close out an iconic run of world-changing sci-fi. The new characters, the vague title, and the hazy plot all contribute to theorycrafting of the most speculative degree. But there are still some known factors of the ninth film in the series. Things like Kylo Ren and Rey coming to terms with each other, the appearance of Carrie Fisher’s General Leia, and the character arcs of Poe and Finn.
Thanks to Vanity Fair’s extensive cover story about the film, fans can rest assured that these details will form a solid base to whatever other guesses they contribute. But one thing seems certain: This film will provide closure. Closure for the Resistance and the First Order, whose coming conflict has ebbed and flowed since The Force Awakens. Closure for the Jedi and the Sith, as sources tell Vanity Fair. Those warring sides have always seesawed in a historical balance that will soon reach its climax — likely thanks to Kylo Ren and Rey.
Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver commented upon the pair’s relationship, explaining that while the ex-Ben Solo had been emotionally stunted by famous parents and friendlessness, “he had been forging this maybe-bond with Rey.” Now the question of its future — a question raised in The Last Jedi — is going to be answered. Driver asked, “Is he going to pursue that relationship, or when the door of her ship goes up, does that also close that camaraderie that they were maybe forming?” Shippers everywhere hope for the former.
Rey might feel differently, according to actress Daisy Ridley. Throwing away family — one thing Rey lacks — made Kylo a polar opposite for her. “I think there’s a part of Rey that’s like, dude, you f***ing had it all, you had it all,” Ridley said. “That was always a big question during filming: You had it all and you let it go.”
Relationships will be a big part of The Rise of Skywalker, more so than any Star Wars before it. Carrie Fisher, who will appear in the film despite dying three years before the film will hit theaters, is getting scenes with her daughter, Billie Lourd.
Fisher, who plays General Leia Organa, had extra footage from The Force Awakens that director J.J. Abrams has reverse-engineered into the plot — some of which involves Lourd’s character, Lieutenant Connix. While Abrams originally wrote Lourd out of these scenes, she advocated for her inclusion. “And so there are moments where they’re talking; there are moments where they’re touching,” Abrams said. “There are moments in this movie where Carrie is there, and I really do feel there is an element of the uncanny, spiritual, you know, classic Carrie, that it would have happened this way, because somehow it worked. And I never thought it would.”
While there’s no information about Leia’s brother Luke (and why Mark Hamill appeared next to R2-D2 in the photoshoot despite Luke seemingly dying at the end of The Last Jedi), there’re a few more details about her allies — old and new — in the Resistance. Poe Dameron will be embracing his role as a leader, thanks partially to some “shared history” with his companions that takes place in the year-long gap between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. Finn, who was on the fence about the Resistance, is now a full-fledged soldier fighting “the mechanized forces of the First Order” alongside newcomer Jannah (Naomi Ackie). How they all met and grew closer together as teammates looks to take place off-screen, but if photos of a desert ship chase on planet Pasaana is any indication, fans will get to see how this tight-knit group functions now that they’re together again.
Some of that camaraderie might even have to do with a small snippet of script leaked by C-3PO portrayer and Star Wars legend Anthony Daniels. Daniels explained that he had a hard time delivering one of his early lines, since he got the script right before shooting. “The line that I couldn’t say was two words: ‘common emblem,’" Daniels said. “Common emblem, common emblem—I would say them thousands of times. My wife would say it back. I just couldn’t say them!” The Resistance does seem to share a common emblem with the rebels of old, meaning that the anti-Imperial forces live on through their ragtag group.
It seems that this togetherness will be a key factor in closing out the Skywalker saga when it hits theaters on Dec. 20.