Shots of blue bantha milk all around! The D23 Expo sizzle reel Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker just dropped online, and it's everything we ever wanted and more. A good chunk of the thing is dedicated to recycled footage from the original trilogy and prequel to drive home the point that Episode IX will close out the Skywalker Family Saga, but once that's out of the way, there's plenty of delicious new footage to behold.
After plenty of text descriptions of the thing online, you can finally feast your eyes on a Star Destroyer armada; Rey (Daisy Ridley) throwing her lightsaber like a boomerang; a red-eyed C-3PO; Rey throwing down with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) over a stormy sea; and Rey wearing Sith robes while wielding a dual-red lightsaber akin to Darth Maul's.
Is she finally turning to the Dark Side?! Behold the awesomeness in the video below:
While Lucasfilm didn't drop the sizzle reel until today, they did whet our appetites by releasing a new teaser poster, which finds Rey and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) fighting with lightsabers while Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) joyfully looks on in the background. The character's shocking return to the franchise was revealed in the very first trailer for Episode IX, which ended with Sheev's disembodied laughter. How he'll return is still a pressing mystery, as he was thrown into the core of the Death Star (presumably to his demise) by Darth Vader in 1983's Return of the Jedi. Of course, if the Jedi can return as Force Ghosts to offer wisdom and guidance to their Padawans, then you can bet that Sith Lords have a similar power, making Palpatine's re-appearance not that far-fetched.
Rise of Skywalker also stars Carrie Fisher (General Organa), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), John Boyega (Finn), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Lupita Nyong'o (Maz Kanata), Billie Lourd (Lt. Connix), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Naomi Ackie (Jannah), Richard E. Grant (Allegiant General Pryde), and Keri Russell (Zorri Bliss).
"She's really funny and a little bit shady — kind of a criminal," Russell said of her new character over the weekend at D23.
Co-written and directed by the returning J.J. Abrams, Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters everywhere Friday, Dec. 20.