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The end of Star Wars' Skywalker Saga is going back to the beginning. The original Death Star and second Death Star have featured across the Star Wars films since the first movie came out in 1977. Star Wars Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker is making the ultimate big bad a major character at the end of the saga.
Trailers for The Rise of Skywalker have shown Finn, Poe, and Rey approaching the remnants of the second Death Star; we also see Rey and Kylo fighting on the wreckage, which is on the ocean moon of Kef Bir.
Why bring back the Death Star? Rise of Skywalker director/co-writer J.J. Abrams explained his reasoning to EW:
It felt like going into the haunted house, the place that you have to go to. This is a story of people having to grapple with the burden the prior generation dumps on those that follow. So literally returning to this wreck of the past and having to fight it out felt like an obvious metaphor, but also felt incredibly cinematic.
It's like Doctor Sleep going back to the Overlook Hotel. In the Star Wars galaxy, we know Kylo Ren is a descendant of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader through his mother General Leia Organa. Rey? The jury is still out on Rey's heritage. Kylo and Rey had a little chat about that in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and decided her parents were nobodies. But even if they weren't prominent names, they still had names and backstories. We'll hear more about that in The Rise of Skywalker, Daisy Ridley confirmed.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker picks up more than a year since The Last Jedi. Finn, Poe, and Rey actually get to have an adventure together for the first time in the new trilogy. It looks like they end up on this ocean moon called Kef Bir, and that's also reportedly the home planet of new character Jannah (Naomi Ackie).
Things aren't looking good for the Resistance at the start of The Rise of Skywalker, and glimpses of "Dark Rey" suggest things get a little heavy for Rey before the end. However, J.J. Abrams warned that the trailers that've come out are just "scratching the surface of what the movie is."
The movie is keeping plenty of secrets, and we know the final shot of the whole saga is meant to be mind-blowing. It will not, however, lead into another movie. This is the end of the Skywalker Saga, although just the beginning of more Star Wars stories.
The Mandalorian is now going strong on Disney+ and I am already in my usual TV zone of being impatient for the next episode to drop. That's a good sign. On the movie front? The franchise will apparently take a hiatus before jumping in with new films from Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, maybe Rian Johnson, and not the Game of Thrones guys anymore.
The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters one month from today on December 20.