Let the countdown begin, as we're 100 days away from The Rise of Skywalker. Lucasfilm has officially kicked off the countdown, with a teaser that focuses on the duel between Kylo Ren and Rey, which we saw in the recently released trailer from D23. The brief teaser was shared with the following caption.
"100 days until the saga ends... #TheRiseOfSkywalker is in cinemas 19 December!"
The Rise of Skywalker arrives in the U.K. on December 19, whereas it officially rolls out nationwide in the U.S. on December 20. However, given the popularity of Thursday night preview screenings, the movie will essentially be making its way to theaters on the evening of the 19th domestically. So, either way, we're at that 100-day countdown. And, even though the conclusion to this sequel trilogy is just over the horizon, we're still left with a great many questions and precious few answers. How will the Skywalker saga conclude? Is it possible to satisfyingly wrap up more than four decades of storytelling in a single movie?
What we know for sure is that J.J. Abrams is back at the helm for this installment. Abrams was recruited by Disney following the $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm to direct what would become The Force Awakens. Few pop culture events have ever generated that level of hype that Episode VII managed to, and few movies have ever generated such success at the box office, as the long-awaited return to a galaxy far, far away generated more than $2 billion worldwide. Once Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) was fired from Episode IX, it made every bit of sense to turn back to Abrams so that he could finish what he started.
Yet, a lot has changed in the last few years. Rian Johnson took over to write and direct Star Wars Episode VIII, which we now know as The Last Jedi. While a major commercial success, the middle entry in this trilogy remains divisive amongst the fanbase. A small yet vocal contingent has made things particularly ugly since the movie's release. In any event, Lucasfilm now has the unique challenge of trying to please both those who liked The Last Jedi, and those who didn't. Bringing any story to a close is challenging, but this comes with added difficulty.
Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels all return. Ian McDiarmid will reprise his role as Emperor Palpatine and Billy Dee Williams is finally coming back as Lando Calrissian. New cast members include Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant and Keri Russell. Carrie Fisher, though no longer with us, will appear once more as Leia Organa via unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Be sure to check out the countdown teaser from the Star Wars UK Twitter account for yourself.