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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJ. J. Abrams
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
Based onCharacters
by George Lucas
Starring
Music byJohn Williams
CinematographyDan Mindel[2]
Edited by
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • December 16, 2019 (2019-12-16) (Hollywood)
  • December 20, 2019 (2019-12-20) (United States)
Running time
142 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (also known as Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker) is an upcoming American epic space-opera film produced, co-written, and directed by J. J. Abrams. It will be the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017), and the final episode of the nine-part "Skywalker saga".[a] It is being produced by Lucasfilm and Abrams's production company Bad Robot Productions, and will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film's ensemble cast includes Carrie Fisher,[b] Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams.

After the new trilogy was announced following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, it was originally reported that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson would write the script for Episode IX. In August 2015, Colin Trevorrow was hired to direct the film while constant-collaborator Derek Connolly would co-write a new script (both would eventually receive story credit with Abrams and Chris Terrio). In September 2017, Trevorrow left the project following creative differences with producer Kathleen Kennedy, and Abrams was hired to return a few days later. Principal photography began in August 2018 at Pinewood Studios in England, and wrapped in February 2019; post-production was completed on November 24, 2019.

The Rise of Skywalker is scheduled to have its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 16, 2019, and will be released theatrically on December 20 in the United States.

Premise

A year after the events of The Last Jedi,[6] the remnants of the Resistance face the First Order once again—while reckoning with the past and their own inner turmoil.[7] Meanwhile, the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its climax,[8] bringing the Skywalker saga to a definitive end.[9]

Cast

Additionally, Dominic Monaghan portrays Beaumont Kin, a Resistance trooper;[22][23] Brian Herring returns as the puppeteer of BB-8;[24] and Billie Lourd, Jimmy Vee, and Greg Grunberg reprise their roles as Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, R2-D2, and Temmin "Snap" Wexley, respectively.[2][25][26] Nick Kellington will return as the creature performance of Klaud. Jeff Garlin and Kevin Smith will have roles in the film.[27][28]

Production

Development

J. J. Abrams returns to direct.

In October 2012, Star Wars creator George Lucas sold his production company Lucasfilm, and with it the Star Wars franchise, to The Walt Disney Company.[29] Disney subsequently announced the Star Wars sequel trilogy.[30] In June 2014, it was announced that Rian Johnson, writer and director of The Last Jedi, would write a story treatment for Episode IX.[31] In August 2015, Colin Trevorrow was announced as the director of the film;[32] he was to write the script with frequent collaborator Derek Connolly.[32][33] In April 2017, Johnson stated that he was not involved in writing the film.[34] In February 2016, Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger confirmed that pre-production on Episode IX had begun.[35] In late April 2017, Disney announced that the film would be released on May 24, 2019.[36] A month later, filming was expected to begin in January 2018,[37][38] but this was later pushed back to August.

In August 2017, it was announced that Jack Thorne would rewrite the script.[39] On September 5, 2017, Lucasfilm stated that Trevorrow had left the production following creative differences.[40] The Hollywood Reporter reported that his working relationship with Kathleen Kennedy had become unmanageable after failing to deliver a satisfactory script, despite writing several drafts.[41] Johnson was rumored as the top choice to replace Trevorrow as director,[42] but stated "it was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX."[43] The next day, it was announced that J. J. Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens, would return to direct the film,[44] and that the film's release date would be moved to December 20, 2019.[45] The story team met with George Lucas before writing the new script,[46] which Abrams co-wrote with Chris Terrio;[47] Trevorrow and Connolly retain story credits.[48] The story was rewritten to some extent before filming was completed.[49] The film is being produced by Abrams's company Bad Robot Productions, Kathleen Kennedy, and Michelle Rejwan.[47]

Before filming, Episode IX was initially given the working title Black Diamond, which was then changed to Trixie.[50] The title, The Rise of Skywalker, was announced at April 2019's Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.[51]

Casting

Billy Dee Williams returns to the franchise as Lando Calrissian onscreen for the first time since Return of the Jedi.

Carrie Fisher, who played Leia Organa, died on December 27, 2016. Variety and Reuters reported that she had been planned for a key role in The Rise of Skywalker.[52] In January 2017, Lucasfilm stated that there were no plans to digitally generate Fisher's performance as they had for Rogue One.[53] The following April, Fisher's brother Todd revealed that Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, had granted Disney the rights to use recent footage of Fisher.[54] However, a week later, Kathleen Kennedy stated that Fisher would not appear in the film.[55][56] In July 2018, J. J. Abrams announced that unused footage of Fisher from The Force Awakens would be used to help complete the story.[57] A week later, it was revealed that unseen footage from The Last Jedi would also be used.[5][10] According to Todd Fisher,

There's a lot of minutes of footage. I don't mean just outtakes. This is unused, new content that could be woven into the storyline. ... It's going to look like it was meant to be. Like it was shot yesterday.[10]

In July 2018, Keri Russell was in talks to play a part with some "action-heavy fight scenes",[58] and it was confirmed that Billy Dee Williams will return as Lando Calrissian,[59] onscreen for the first time since 1983's Return of the Jedi—marking one of the longest intervals between portrayals of a character by the same actor in American film history.[21] At the end of July, Russell was confirmed to have been cast,[60] and there was an announcement of returning and additional new cast members.[2] In late August, Deadline Hollywood announced that Dominic Monaghan and Matt Smith had been cast in unspecified roles,[61][62] but Smith later denied his involvement.[63] In April 2019, Disney's British website also listed Smith as being in the film,[64] but removed his and Monaghan's name the following month.[65] Jimmy Vee and Greg Grunberg reprise their roles as R2-D2 and Temmin "Snap" Wexley, respectively.[66][26] Brian Herring returns to puppeteer BB-8.[67]

At Star Wars Celebration in April 2019, it was revealed that Ian McDiarmid will return to portray Palpatine.[18] Since the event was held after principal photography wrapped, Abrams was thrilled that news of McDiarmid on the set never leaked.[68]

Filming

Principal photography began on August 1, 2018, at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.[2] Filming also took place in Wadi Rum, Jordan.[69] Oscar Isaac stated that Abrams was allowing more improvised acting than in the previous two films.[70] Due to the tight schedule, some editing took place on set.[71] Principal photography wrapped on February 15, 2019.[72] Footage from the film was shown at The Walt Disney Company's annual shareholders meeting on March 7, 2019.[73] Reshoots took place at Bad Robot Productions between late September and mid-October.[74]

Post-production

The visual effects will be provided by Industrial Light & Magic and supervised by Roger Guyett.[75] During an interview on Good Morning America on November 25, 2019, Abrams announced that the film had finished post-production the day before. Abrams also acknowledged that a cast member had accidentally left a copy of the film's script at their hotel room, which was subsequently listed on eBay. A cleaner found the script put it up for sale for "like 65 pounds".[76] A Disney employee identified the script as authentic and purchased it from the seller for an undisclosed sum.[77][78] On November 27, Boyega told Good Morning America that the script belonged to him, having forgotten it under his bed in the process of moving.[76]

Music

On January 10, 2018, it was confirmed that Williams would return to compose and conduct The Rise of Skywalker.[79][80] The next month, Williams announced that it would be the last Star Wars film for which he would compose the score.[81] and he wouldn't score the other sequel films as previously expected.[82] In August 2019, it was revealed that Williams had written about 35 of an expected 135 minutes of music for the film, which according to Williams's brother Don, will incorporate all of the major themes of the Skywalker saga.[83]

Marketing

Though Abrams has stayed silent about many details of the film, he has expressed his hopes that audiences will be "satisfied."[84] He headed a panel dedicated to the film on April 12, 2019, during Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, Illinois,[85] where the film's title was revealed via the first trailer, and new images were shown.[51] The trailer was viewed 111 million times in the first 24 hours of its release, which was 20 million more views than the teaser for The Last Jedi and more than double that of The Force Awakens.[86]

A publishing campaign titled "Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" was announced on May 4, 2019 (Star Wars Day). It includes the novel Resistance Reborn, set between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and various other titles.[87] Additionally, the story events of the Disneyland themed area Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge precede the film, including the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run motion simulator, which features Chewbacca.[88] On August 24, a new poster and "sizzle reel" was released at D23;[17] the latter was released to the public two days later. The footage includes a montage of the Skywalker saga so far, as well as several new shots from the film.[89]

The final trailer was released on October 21, 2019 during Monday Night Football which coincidentally happens to be the anniversary of Carrie Fisher's birthday.[90]

Release

The film was originally planned to be released on May 24, 2019, in the United States before being pushed back to December 20.[36][45] It will have its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 16.[91] Unlike most studio films, Disney did not hold test screenings for The Rise of Skywalker, instead only showing it to Abrams' friends and family, as well as a terminally ill fan.[92][93]

The film will be released on Disney+ in 2020.[94]

Box office

Pre-sale tickets went on sale on October 21, 2019 and the film sold more tickets in their first hour of availability on Atom Tickets than the previous record-holder for ticket sales, Avengers: Endgame. It became Atom Tickets' second-best first-day seller of all-time behind Endgame, selling more than twice the number of tickets than The Last Jedi sold in that same timeframe, while Fandango reported it outsold all previous Star Wars films.[90][95] Initial box office tracking has The Rise of Skywalker grossing around $205 million in its opening weekend, though some firms predict a debut closer to $175 million.[96]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The "Skywalker saga" refers to the main Star Wars film franchise, which is a trilogy of trilogies.[4]
  2. ^ Fisher, who died in late 2016, will appear through the use of unreleased footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.[5]
  3. ^ According to McDiarmid, Star Wars creator George Lucas told him that the character is definitely dead before the events of Episode IX.[19]

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External links

Media related to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at Wikimedia Commons