Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) do battle in a newly released Chinese poster for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Set more than a year after the events of The Last Jedi, where Kylo cut down Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) before extending his hand to powerful Force user Rey, Skywalker finds the twisted Ben Solo exerting control of the reigning First Order as he moves to crush all signs of rebellion against his rule. Having completely submitted himself to the Dark Side, Kylo is out to return the Sith to power and fulfill what he believes to be the legacy of Darth Vader — and only Rey wields enough power to stand in his way.
“Some of the most interesting scenes in The Last Jedi are the conversations between Rey and Ren,” The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio previously told Empire magazine. “We’ve tried to pick up that complicated relationship that really has been present ever since the interrogation in [The Force Awakens]. When Ren takes off his mask, there’s a nakedness about him with Rey that he doesn’t express to anyone else. [The Last Jedi director] Rian [Johnson] developed that in fascinating ways and we’ve been able to develop it even further.”
It was there Kylo told Rey her parents were “nobodies” — and in Rise of Skywalker, the villain knows more than he lets on.
“She’s been training and continuing this internal struggle; that has not gone away, it has intensified,” Ridley said in a recent interview. “She isn’t satisfied by what Kylo has told her. She’s struggling with that, so we meet her mid-training and then you see it play out more in real time, the struggles that she’s having and this drive that she has to reconcile the questions that she has.”
Beyond another confrontation with Kylo, Rey will come to face his apparent true master: the believed vanquished Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), whose return is shrouded in mystery. Like the equally mysterious nature of Rey's lineage, answers behind Palpatine's resurrection will come in Rise of Skywalker.
“He’s the biggest baddie in Star Wars history. Now that we’ve done the story, I’m like, it couldn't have happened any other way,” Ridley previously told IGN. “It had to be that. But he’s very instrumental to the plot of the film. It’s not just like he appears again; it’s all explained.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20.