Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker (also known as Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker) is a 2019 American epic space opera film produced, co-written, and directed by J. J. Abrams. It is the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following The Force Awakens (2015) and The Last Jedi (2017), and the final episode of the nine-part “Skywalker saga.”

It was produced by Lucasfilm and Abrams’ production company Bad Robot Productions and was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film’s ensemble cast includes Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams.

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron as they lead the Resistance’s final stand against Kylo Ren and the First Order, who are now aided by the return of the deceased galactic emperor, Palpatine. Following initial reports that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson would write the script for Episode IX, in August 2015, Colin Trevorrow was hired to direct and to write a script with his collaborator Derek Connolly; both ultimately retain story credit with Abrams and Chris Terrio.

In September 2017, Trevorrow left the project following creative differences with producer Kathleen Kennedy, and Abrams returned as director. Principal photography began in August 2018 at Pinewood Studios in England and wrapped in February 2019. Post-production was completed on November 24, 2019. With an estimated budget of $275 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.

The film had its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 16, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 20, 2019. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the acting, action sequences, musical score, and visual effects, but criticized the story, pacing, and perceived departures from the plot and themes of The Last Jedi. It grossed over $1.074 billion worldwide, becoming the seventh-highest-grossing film of 2019, and although it was the lowest-grossing installment of the trilogy, still turned a $300 million profit.

The film received three nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards (Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Editing) as well as three at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards (also Best Special Visual Effects, Best Original Music, and Best Sound).

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Cast

See also: List of Star Wars characters and List of Star Wars cast members
  • Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa, the Force-sensitive leading general of the Resistance, widow of Han Solo, mother to Ben Solo, Luke Skywalker’s twin sister and Darth Vader’s daughter. Fisher, who died in late 2016, appears through the use of repurposed unreleased footage from The Force Awakens. As a result of her death, Fisher was not present in most of the film’s marketing materials or merchandise.
  • Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi Master and maternal uncle of Kylo Ren, who became one with the Force in The Last Jedi
  • Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, the Supreme Leader of the First Order. He is the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo, the nephew of Luke Skywalker and grandson of Darth Vader.
  • Daisy Ridley as Rey a former scavenger from Jakku, member of the Resistance, the last Jedi, apprentice of the Skywalkers, and granddaughter of Palpatine.
    • Cailey Fleming and Josefine Irrera Jackson as Young Rey
  • John Boyega as Finn, a member of the Resistance and a former stormtrooper (FN-2187) who defected from the First Order
  • Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, a high-ranking X-wing fighter pilot and commander of the Resistance who later inherits the rank of General from Leia
  • Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, a humanoid protocol droid in the service of General Leia Organa. Daniels is the only actor to have appeared in all of the episodic films in the series.
  • Naomi Ackie as Jannah, a former Stormtrooper of the First Order (TZ-1719) living on the planet Kef Bir, who aids the Resistance
  • Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, the First Order’s second-in-command
  • Richard E. Grant as Allegiant General Pryde, a high-ranking general in the First Order, who previously served in the Galactic Empire
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, a former space pirate and ally of the Resistance
  • Keri Russell as Zorii Bliss,[22][23] an old acquaintance of Poe’s from Kijimi[24]
  • Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, a Wookiee and first mate of the Millennium Falcon and longtime friend of Han Solo. The original actor Peter Mayhew died of a heart attack during post-production, and the film is dedicated to his memory.
  • Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, a mechanic in the Resistance and friend of Finn
  • Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine, the resurrected Dark Lord of the Sith and Rey’s paternal grandfather
  • Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, a veteran of the Rebel Alliance, a former owner of the Millennium Falcon and an old friend of Chewbacca, Leia, Luke and Han. Williams returns to the Star Wars franchise onscreen for the first time since Return of the Jedi.


Principal photography began on August 1, 2018, at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England. Filming also took place in Wadi Rum, Jordan. Oscar Isaac stated that Abrams was allowing more improvised acting than in the previous two films. Due to the tight schedule, some editing took place on set. Principal photography wrapped on February 15, 2019. Footage from the film was shown at The Walt Disney Company’s annual shareholders meeting on March 7, 2019. Reshoots took place at Bad Robot Productions between late September and mid-October.


The visual effects were created by Industrial Light & Magic and supervised by Roger Guyett. The film finished post-production on November 25, 2019. After Boyega accidentally left a copy of the script in his hotel room, it was listed on eBay for around £65. A Disney employee identified the script as authentic and purchased it from the seller for an undisclosed sum.

Lucasfilm honored Riley Howell, a student and Star Wars fan who heroically died at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte shooting in April 2019, by naming a Jedi after him in its book Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker – The Visual Dictionary. The book credits “Ri-Lee Howell” with collecting “many of the earliest accounts of exploration and codifications of The Force.”

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Music

Main article: Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker (soundtrack)

On January 10, 2018, it was confirmed that John Williams would return to compose and conduct Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker. The next month, Williams announced that it would be the last Star Wars film for which he would compose the score. In August 2019, it was revealed that Williams had written about 35 of an expected 135 minutes of music for the film, which according to Williams’s brother Don, would incorporate all of the major themes of the Skywalker saga. Scoring began in July 2019 with Williams and William Ross conducting and orchestrating the sessions over the course of six months. Walt Disney Records released the soundtrack album digitally on December 18, 2019, with a physical release following on December 20.

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Marketing

Despite staying silent about many details of the film, Abrams expressed his hopes that fans and general audiences would be “satisfied”. He headed a panel dedicated to the film on April 12, 2019, during Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, Illinois, where the film’s title was revealed via the first trailer, and new images were shown. The trailer was viewed 111 million times in the first 24 hours of its release, which was 20 million more views than the teaser for The Last Jedi and more than double that of The Force Awakens.

A publishing campaign titled “Journey to Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker” was announced on May 4, 2019 (Star Wars Day). It includes the novel Resistance Reborn, set between The Last Jedi and Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker, and various other titles. Additionally, the story events of the Disneyland themed area Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge precede the film, including the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run motion simulator, which features Chewbacca.

On August 24, a new poster and “sizzle reel” was released at D23; the latter was released to the public two days later. The footage includes a montage of the Skywalker saga so far, as well as several new shots from the film. The final trailer was released on October 21, 2019 during Monday Night Football.

In December 2019, the video game Fortnite Battle Royale released several cosmetics featuring character skins for Rey, Finn, a Sith Trooper, Kylo Ren, and Zorii Bliss along with a TIE Fighter glider, a Millennium Falcon glider (which was given to players for free from the Winterfest Event), four emotes, and two free banners. On December 14, Fortnite‘s publisher Epic Games released a preview of the film on an in-game theater screen as a live event.

At the end of the event, a message from Palpatine (the one mentioned in the film’s opening crawl) was heard. To coincide with the release of the film, a trailer for the forthcoming video game, Lego Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Saga was released on the same day.

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Release

The film was originally planned to be released on May 24, 2019, in the United States before being pushed back to December 20, giving the original release date to Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin. It had its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 16. Unlike most studio films, Disney reportedly did not hold test screenings for Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker, instead only showing it to Abrams’ friends and family, as well as a terminally ill fan.

A shot near the end of the film, featuring two female Resistance members kissing, was cut in Dubai and Singapore.

Disney issued a warning that the scenes with strobe-like flashing lights may trigger photosensitive migraines and seizures during some of those scenes

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