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Wicket in Return of the Jedi

It's a very exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. With less than a month until The Rise of Skywalker wraps up the nine-film Skywalker saga, anticipation is at a fever pitch. J.J. Abrams has been tasked with helming that blockbuster, which should be intimately connected to previous installments in the long-running franchise. We already know that Emperor Palpatine will somehow factor into the story, and now it looks like more iconic characters from the original trilogy are popping up in Episode IX as well. Namely, Ewoks.

The Ewoks made their debut in Return of the Jedi, with the adorable furry creatures heavily factoring into the final battle on Endor. They haven't been seen on the big screen again since, but that might change with The Rise of Skywalker. A new video promoted the Star Wars' franchises legacy ahead of Episode IX, which featured a shot of actor Warwick Davis back in an Ewok costume. Check it out below.

Warwick Davis in an Ewok costuem

Well, this is exciting. Warwick Davis has played a variety of characters throughout the Star Wars franchise, but he's perhaps best known for playing Wicket in Return of the Jedi. And it looks like that furry guy is going to pop back up in J.J. Abrams' upcoming blockbuster.

This quick image comes to us from the official Star Wars youtube page, which recently posted a featurette ahead of the release of The Rise of Skywalker. It shows Warwick Davis back in an Ewok costume, looking up at some masks for Wicket. Davis is no longer the young man he was when filming Return of the Jedi, which indicates that this is a new photo-- likely from the set of Episode IX. Although just how the Ewoks will factor into the upcoming narrative remains a mystery.

Clearly J.J. Abrams is going to have a mixture of classic and modern Star Wars characters in The Rise of Skywalker. This should excite the generations of Star Wars fans, especially the OG's who flocked to theaters to see the original trilogy. The pressure is on for Abrams to deliver, as his upcoming movie will wrap up the entire nine-film franchise. So rather than simply concluding the current set of movies, he must somehow craft a satisfying conclusion to the franchise as we know it.

You can check out the full Star Wars featurette below, including Warwick Davis' brief appearance.

Narratively, it seems like The Rise of Skywalker could go seemingly anywhere. Because the franchise's security and marketing is to methodical, the plot has been largely kept under wraps ahead of its release. While we know the story will pick up a year after the events of The Rise of Skywalker, it's unclear what the actual story about. But it'll include the likes of Carrie Fisher's Leia, Palpatine, and apparently the Ewoks.

Perhaps Wicket's role in The Rise of Skywalker is connected to Leia's story. She was the one who forged the alliance between The Rebels and Endor's Ewoks which ultimately resulted in the second Death Star's destruction. Maybe Leia will get a sendoff in the upcoming blockbuster, with Wicket in attendance. Only time will tell.

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. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.

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