Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Footage at D23 Features the Return of Darth Vader's Helmet

A brief glimpse at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker played at the D23 Expo today and delivered fans a look at where Darth Vader's helmet has been since Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The helmet's first appearance in promotional materials for that first sequel film immediately excited fans, though it was only briefly present in the finished film. One of the major themes of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was that Kylo Ren wanted to leave the past behind, going so far as to destroy his own helmet, leaving audiences to wonder what happened to the relic of his grandfather.

The 10-second tease of The Rise of Skywalker was shown during a Disney Legends panel, depicting Kylo Ren opening up a container that had been keeping Vader's helmet safe. In addition to a look at the helmet, the footage featured multiple brief shots of the rest of the heroes, with Rey delivering a line to Finn, "It's too dangerous. I have to go alone." This line seemingly confirms the reports that at least a portion of the film will see Rey embarking on one mission while Finn and Poe embark on their own.

The events of The Last Jedi prevented fans from learning about the fate of Vader's helmet, but the film's Visual Dictionary offered insight into its whereabouts. The book described, "Rescued from the Starkiller disaster, Kylo returns to his quarters aboard the Supremacy, Supreme Leader Snoke's vast flagship. Here, Kylo's isolation allows him to meditate on the Force. He has left Darth Vader's charred helmet aboard the Finalizer, perhaps not ready to face that visage until he recovers from his failure."

This new footage doesn't confirm whether Kylo will embrace his past or cut himself off from his grandfather's legacy once and for all.

Earlier this year, the first teaser for The Rise of Skywalker featured a shot of an unidentified figure repairing Kylo Ren's helmet, while various promotional materials have seen the villain wearing it, leading to speculation about who was reconstructing it and for what purpose. Another surprising detail about that footage is that it concluded with the laugh of Emperor Palpatine, leading fans to theorize if the Sith Lord would return in a corporeal form or merely serve as an underlying, villainous presence in the narrative.

Later this weekend, D23 will focus more on The Rise of Skywalker, possibly offering up more footage.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.

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