Long have we waited, and the moment has come. The cast and crew of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker assembled in Hollywood on Monday night for a "blue carpet" event that not only celebrated the premiere of the new film, but the ending of the legendary saga itself. From new heroes like Daisy Ridley to legends like Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams, the power was running strong. SYFY WIRE was there to be one with the Force.
"We have the luxury of knowing that there are millions and millions of Star Wars fans out that want more stories to be told," Disney CEO Bob Iger told SYFY WIRE. "The nice thing about this is... now this is closure about these nine Star Wars chapters in the Skywalker saga, it is by far not the end of stories in the galaxy far, far away."
Ever the enthusiast, Richard Grant got us plenty excited for this chapter, though: "I've been a life-long, excessive Star Wars fan, and what I saw last week fulfilled everyone of my hopes and more."
Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker on Star Wars: The Clone Wars), when asked about his favorite moments from the saga, told us, "Some of the Anakin and Padme stuff is really interesting to me... I think Anakin is a really complicated, interesting person." He also voiced his support for seeing Ahsoka Tano in a live-action movie, something that many (many) fans agree with him on.
Doug Chiang, a concept artist and a designer for many Star Wars films, (who now serves as Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Lucasfilm) said, "When I first saw Star Wars when I was 15, I aspired to somehow work on Star Wars." And now all these years later, he's doing just that (and getting to work beside Porsche designers while he's at it!)
A livestream of the event was hosted by Anthony Carboni and Andi Guitierrez, and featured a "last day of camp" mentality, with Carboni shouting about nobody respecting the lines because John Boyega (Finn) crashed Carboni's interview with Anthony Daniels. Then Naomi Ackie (Jannah) crashed Carboni's later interview with Kelly Marie Tran (Rose). Tran and Ackie are soon going to be living in the same city, so they have plans to watch movies and wear jammies.
Newcomer Ackie also told SYFY WIRE about her how she auditioned for the film for some three months, before she finally got the call. "Suddenly, I woke up in bed and got a call saying you've got the part, so I cried and then I ate a pizza."
Ahmed Best (Jar Jar Binks) arrived in what looked like one-quarter portion of a cowboy hat, and talked a little bit about the new game show he's hosting for Disney+, called Jedi Temple Challenge. He almost gave famous hat-wearer Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian) a run for his hat money, but the two did not come to blows. The casts of The Clone Wars as well as The Mandalorian were well represented, with Pablo Pascal and Ming-Na Wen both being on hand.
Frank Oz (Yoda) gave livestream watchers a bit of news, saying that he was just there as a fan, because he's not in the actual movie. We don't know if we believe him — Oz may not be in the movie, but Yoda still could be. We don't know if we're buying it.
There was a bit of the dark side to the livestream as well, as Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) revealed that his favorite line that he got to speak in the saga was "Do it!" from Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Billy Dee Williams offered some hope, though, and talked about how the saga is full of the battle between light and dark... but that's a battle that is fought within, as well.
Perhaps the most poignant moment came towards the end of the livestream, when Ridley said that in these dark times, "these stories matter." We completely agree with her.
Though everyone who strode upon the blue carpet got to then go and see the film itself, the rest of us will have to wait until Dec. 20. The saga will end, but the story will live forever.
(With reporting by Karri Lucas and Whitney Moore)