Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — that’s the official title for Episode IX, the third chapter of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the final one in the Skywalker saga. The announcement was made as part of the teaser trailer on stage at the ongoing Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, where director J.J. Abrams was present alongside Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Soutamo, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, R2-D2, and Naomi Ackie. Ian McDiarmid made a surprise appearance on stage after the teaser reveal, suggesting his character, Emperor Palpatine has a role to play in The Rise of Skywalker.
With the unveiling of the title for Episode IX, we have the sequel trilogy all in place: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, and Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.
As a franchise, Star Wars didn’t originate with a subtitle. The first episode, released in 1977, was simply called ‘Star Wars’. But a couple of years later, it was later retitled as Episode IV – A New Hope, to bring it in line with future chapters. George Lucas has claimed he had the subtitle in mind before release but didn’t want to confuse audiences. All subsequent mainline Star Wars films have been released with subtitles.
1980 brought Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, followed by Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, which brought an end to the original trilogy. George Lucas revived Star Wars with the prequel trilogy around the turn of the century, with Episode I – The Phantom Menace in 1999, Episode II – Attack of the Clones in 2002, and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith in 2005.
The returning cast for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker includes Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Soutamo, Anthony Daniels, Billie Lourd, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. Previously unreleased footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi will be used for Fisher, who died in 2016.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will release December 20, 2019 in India and across the world.