Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Director J.J. Abrams Teases the Return of Fan Favorite Characters

The Star Wars franchise is ready to wrap up the Skywalker saga after decades of storytelling, and J.J. Abrams and his cast celebrated by taking some brand new footage of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to CCXP in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The group, which included Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac, spoke about the legacy of the beloved series of films to the delight of the crowd. And they also spoke about the challenge of bringing back many beloved characters from the franchise including Emperor Palpatine and Lando Calrissian.

"On the dark side, I can’t wait for people to see the story, I think it’s the most intense story these characters have been through," Abrams said. "On the light side, it’s the first time we see these group of characters have an adventure together."

Abrams went on to address the return of the Emperor in the final film of the saga, explaining "that character, as you’ll see, he’s got such extraordinary power. I can’t wait for you to see how and why that character’s back and what it means for these characters," referencing the trio onstage with him.

This film also sees the return of Lando, who had an appearance in last year's Solo: A Star Wars Story. But this time, Billy Dee Williams comes back to the franchise to reprise the role he made famous in the original trilogy. The cast members all expressed gratitude at the opportunity to share the screen with Williams.

"Growing up, he was my favorite character," Isaac said. "He looked a little different, he was such an interesting character — you couldn’t tell if he was good or bad, and all of that comes back in this one."

Boyega added to that sentiment and called Lando "the coolest dude in the galaxy, man." He added, "If you watch the movie, Finn’s reaction to meeting Lando was completely my reaction to meeting him. I’m so happy J.J. caught that."

Abrams later recognized that everyone involved with the franchise feels the weight of the responsibility and that they're proud to show off what they've made in the coming weeks.

"I think everyone agrees that Star Wars has this incredible heart and hope and sense of possibility," Abrams said. "As crazy as everything is in the world, that’s sense of possibility — that there are more of us, that there is goodness to be found, [that’s] really a beautiful thing. What George Lucas did was extraordinary."

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

[h/t THR]

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