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As is often the case with Lucasfilm, the best and biggest news about Star Wars was held for its semi-annual convention, known as Star Wars Celebration. Just seven months out from its premiere, fans still didnt know the title of Episode IX, the final installment in the decades-long Skywalker saga—until now. While kicking off a weekend of panels, reunions, and more, Lucasfilm finally announced that the upcoming, J.J. Abrams-directed Episode IX will officially be titled The Rise of Skywalker.

On the one hand, this title feels fitting for the close of the Skywalker-centric franchise. On the other hand, it raises some questions about whether this new film will attempt to re-write Rian Johnsons The Last Jedi. That earlier film emphatically stated that Daisy Ridleys Rey—the hero of the trilogy—was not related to the Skywalker line. Perhaps this new title refers to Leia—though given Carrie Fishers truncated role in the film, this seems like a stretch. Or maybe it refers to the Skywalker blood that runs through Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver. The “rise” of the Skywalker within him could refer to a potential shift toward the light side of the force.

But all of those possibilities seem less likely than a story in which Rey, after finally discovering her connection to the fabled Skywalker family, rises up to fulfill her potential. Even Johnson himself—perhaps readying fans looking to protest any changes to his story—has already said he doesnt mind if her backstory is rewritten for the Abrams film.

Along with the title release, Lucasfilm debuted a teaser trailer centered on Rey, her emotional connection to Leia, her crew of friends, and the hotly-anticipated return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. The audio of Mark Hamill reading his The Last Jedi line—“no one is really gone*—teases a possible return of Luke Skywalker in the form of a Force ghost. The glimpse of Endor, the Death Star wreckage, and what appears to be the trademark Emperor Palpatine laugh closing out the trailer all indicate that while Johnsons film tried to take the saga in a bold new direction, the Abrams version will hew much closer to his The Force Awakens. In other words, a remix of The Return of the Jedi, a film fans are already familiar with.

Before debuting either the title or the footage, panel host and life-long Star Wars fan Stephen Colbert asked Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy and Abrams to talk about the pressure surrounding this final installment, especially in the glare of all the overblown fan controversy surrounding Johnsons The Last Jedi. Kennedy opened the panel by describing the “responsibility” they felt to honor both the fandom and the sagas originator: George Lucas. Kennedy said Abrams “cares more than anybody” about getting the closing chapter of the Skywalker saga right, and that theyve “taken to heart everything that inspired George.”

Though Abrams and the rest of the Episode IX team were characteristically tight-lipped about details, they did confirm that there Read More – Source

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Vanity Fair

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