'Star Wars: Episode IX' Title Revealed

During this morning's panel at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, Illinois, Lucasfilm revealed that the title of the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Compared to the previous films in the Skywalker Saga, the title has been kept closely under wraps for much longer than fans anticipated, as we learned the title Star Wars: The Force Awakens more than 13 months before the film's release and Star Wars: The Last Jedi roughly 11 months before that film's release. It's possible that, with Lucasfilm knowing just how highly anticipated the film would be, releasing a title wouldn't be necessary to build excitement.

When the title of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released, fans interpreted the phrase both literally and figuratively, as the Star Wars brand was being revived, as were individuals who were strongly attuned to the Force. The reveal of Star Wars: The Last Jedi saw much more debate about the meaning, with some fans thinking the title referred to Luke while others thought the title referred to Rey.

When Lucasfilm confirmed that the film had begun production, one of the biggest surprises was the reveal that Carrie Fisher would be appearing in the film using unseen footage from The Force Awakens. Since the release of The Last Jedi, fans had speculated about how Fisher's passing would impact Leia Organa, as that film had ended with Leia sticking with the Resistance.

“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” director J.J. Abrams explained. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

Other returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Anthony Daniels, and Billie Lourd. New additions to the saga include Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell. Mark Hamill will reprise his role of Luke Skywalker in some capacity, with Billy Dee Williams returning to the saga as Lando Calrissian for the first time since 1983's Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters this December.

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