Keri Russell plays the scoundrel Zorri Bliss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Little else has been revealed about the new character, but after today's D23 panel fans now know that she's an "old friend" fo Poe Dameron, the hotshot Resistance pilot played by Oscar Isaac. What that means, exactly, and how Zorri plays into the events of the final Skywalker saga movie remains to be seen.
The Rise of Skywalker reunites Russell with director JJ Abrams, who helped launch Russell’s career by casting her in the title role of the late 1990s/early 2000s college drama Felicity. Russell has said little about her Star Wars character in the past but has commented on what it is like to work with Abrams again. “It is just so much more fun to work with someone that you like so much,” Russell said. “I mean, we see each other and then we talk nonstop and fill in all the details of the past years, and you know, it’s just nice when you have that kind of fun and history with someone. It makes it all that much more enjoyable. When J.J. calls so unexpectedly, cool things happen.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker brings the Star Wars sequel trilogy to its end. It is also the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. Abrams returns to direct after launching the sequel trilogy by directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. He's following Rian Johnson’s work directing Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Johnson’s film proved divisive because he chose not to take the dangling plot threads Abrams left in The Force Awakens in their most obvious directions. Johnson has said that he’s okay with Abrams taking the story of The Last Jedi in similarly unexpected directions. In fact, he kind of hopes that Abrams does just that.
"I've had a couple of conversations with [Abrams] but I've actually really enjoyed sitting back waiting to get my popcorn opening day and see how the thing turns out. I cannot wait," Johnson said at CinemaCon. "Like I said, I want to let go of all my expectations, I want to sit back, I want to be entertained. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled. I want him to do stuff that I wasn't expecting him to do and just go along for the ride. For me, that's why I go to the movies."
Star Wars: Episode IX opens in theaters on December 20th. Other upcoming Star Wars projects include a new film trilogy from Game of Thrones creators DB Weiss and David Benioff, the new trilogy by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnsson, and the upcoming Disney+ TV series The Mandalorian, and series following Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Cassian Andor