The official poster for Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was unfurled on Saturday in the middle of the studio’s feature film presentations at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. The pic, directed by JJ Abrams, is the finale of the original Skywalker Saga of films in the franchise and hits theaters December 20.
The poster shows Rey and Kylo Ren facing off against the backdrop of an ominous electrical storm — like one that can be created by the Emperor himself, whose visage watches over the lightsaber fight.
During today’s panel, Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy hit the stage to the soaring fanfare of John Williams’ Star Wars theme. Abrams said work is still underway on the trailer, to a groan from the audience — but do we believe him? (Panel’s not over yet as of this writing.)
“What an ending. I can’t wait for you to share what we have all been doing all these months under J.J.,” Anthony Daniels says in a voice that has the familiar lilt of his character, C3PO, to a strong ovation. Abrams (getting a bit choked up) praises the late Carrie Fisher and confides that the Star Wars icon put a “special thanks” to him in her memoir, The Princess Diarist, that seemed to foretell the fact that Abrams would direct this final chapter of the Skywalker odyssey.
A sizzle reel shown Saturday to the D23 faithful included scenes of Imperial Star Destroyers floating in the upper atmosphere of a planet under siege. Fisher’s image flashes on the screen, along with scenes of lightsabers spinning in the air and much Jedi combat. The biggest cheer came when the Emperor is shown.