a surprise to be sure but a welcome one
The juicy Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker details you're looking for have arrived.
Vanity Fair is out with a new cover story for the film, which not only includes stunning photos from Annie Leibovitz (one of which shows a lightsaber battle possibly set on the Death Star) but also reveals tons of new information. Here are the most important details:
1. Names galore - Keri Russell is set to play a "masked scoundrel" whose name has been revealed as Zorri Bliss, while Richard E. Grant plays the First Order's Allegiant General Pryde. The film also features a desert planet called Pasaana, home to the Aki-Aki alien race, and a "snow-dusted" planet called Kijimi. Additionally, horse-like creatures called orbaks will be introduced.
2. Knights - The mysterious Knights of Ren from The Force Awakens are indeed back, and Vanity Fair describes them as the "elite fearsome enforcers of Kylo Ren's dark will."
3. As the Force wills it - The Force-connection between Kylo and Rey will "run even deeper than we thought," Vanity Fair reports.
4. War! - The film will "bring to a climax the millennia-long conflict between the Jedi Order and its dark shadow, the Sith," per Vanity Fair's sources.
5. Strong with this one - By the time the movie begins — about a year after The Last Jedi — Rey's training is "almost complete."
6. The chances of... - According to Anthony Daniels, C-3PO will do something in The Rise of Skywalker that "surprises everybody."
7. Royalty - Carrie Fisher's posthumous role will include scenes with her real-life daughter, Billie Lourd.
8. Sinister - More about the origins of the First Order will reportedly be revealed. Could their backstory be tied up with Emperor Palpatine's return?
9. Let the past die - After facing criticism for the overly-familiar nature of The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams says that for The Rise of Skywalker, he "felt slightly more renegade" and willing to make decisions "not because it adheres to something" but because it "feels right."