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Rose in The Rise of Skywalker

We're coming up on a very exciting time for the Star Wars franchise, with J.J. Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker hitting theaters in a matter of months. In addition to wrapping up the current trilogy, Episode IX will also complete the Skywalker Saga, and the nine-film narrative that moviegoers have been following for decades. The trailer revealed that Palpatine would somehow factor into the story, and now Kelly Marie Tran is teasing the blockbuster's use of original characters.

Kelly Marie Tran made her Star Wars debut in Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi, playing Resistance maintenance worker Rose Tico. Rose got involved in the main conflict of the movie, while also sharing a romantic connection with Finn. Tran will reprise her role in The Rise of Skywalker, recently opening up about the project with:

J.J. has done a really good job of bringing a lot of things together, in terms of having [characters] from the older films. Everyone's together in this movie, which isn’t something that's happened before. So it’s really exciting.

Is it December yet? The Rise of Skywalker will be the final chapter in the war against The First Order, but the blockbuster will also be deeply connected to the original trilogy. But how exactly J.J. Abrams will connect all these stories and characters should remain a mystery until the movie finally arrives in theaters.

Kelly Marie Tran's comments to Yahoo are sure to excite the longtime fans of the Star Wars movies. Entire generations were brought up on George Lucas' galaxy far, far away, but those who saw the OG trilogy in theaters have been following the story for decades. And since The Rise of Skywalker will complete that story, the pressure is on to deliver a satisfying so many years in the making.

The Star Wars franchise is methodical about its marketing, in an attempt to keep the secrets of each new release until they arrive in theaters. As such, there's only been a few brief trailers for The Rise of Skywalker, mostly debuting at events like D23 Expo or Star Wars Celebration. But the short clips have teased the return of beloved characters from the original trilogy.

Early into its process, we learned that The Rise of Skywalker will bring back Leia through unused footage of Carrie Fisher from her previous two appearances. It's an ambitious method of filmmaking, but should allow the beloved character to get a more fitting ending. What's more, Mark Hamill will appear as Luke Skywalker, this time as a Force Ghost.

But those original heroes aren't the characters that fans are most eager to see in Episode IX. Instead, cinephiles are eager to catch up with characters that had been noticeably absent throughout the last two installments. Billy Dee Williams will be back as Lando Calrissian, after the scoundrel wasn't seen or referred to at all in the previous movies. But more shocking than this is the inclusion of Palpatine, as his menacing laugh was heard during The Rise of Skywalker's first trailer.

All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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