Cast and Crew Share About Making Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker PosterThis morning the title and first trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX was released during a panel dedicated to the movie at Star Wars Celebration. Hosted by Stephen Colbert, it began with a funny yet heartfelt opening. During his opening, he shared that his friend J.J. Abrams invited him to visit the Episode IX set. During this, he said a lot without saying anything. He then introduced Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams to the stage!

Things kicked off with Colbert asking the two about what it is like to be in front of a crowd and about to share a big present. Kathleen Kennedy shared of the “responsibility we have” to the fans and also how they are going to finish this “third act of a three-act structure” of the Star Wars movies. Abrams added about how they are deep in the editing process. He also shared about how this needs to end a four-decade saga but also be able to stand on its own. It’s a movie about this new generation but also about wrapping up the trilogies.

Carrie Fisher is an irreplaceable figure in the Star Wars universe. Abrams shared about how it was impossible to replace or recast that part. Thankfully, there were scenes from The Force Awakens to continue her story into Episode IX by writing scenes around her. “Princess Leia lives in this film in a way that is mind-blowing to me.”

The movie does take place quite sometime after The Last Jedi. It is an adventure that the cast goes on together.  The movie utilizes a lot of practical effects that is supplemented by CGI effects. Abrams shared about watching Star Wars as a kid and how it looks like a real place. The same was done to make use “beautiful nature as a backdrop for sequences.”

Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerAnthony Daniels

After sharing a bit about the movie, Anthony Daniels and R2-D2 came to the stage. Daniels is in every Star Wars movie and Colbert called him the “embodiment of the Force.” C-3P0, Daniels shared, is the voice of reason in the movies and is always shushed. He then said it was time for the droid to fight back! It was a cute moment. Then Daniels shared about getting ready to return to the character of C-3P0 for each movie. He then teased his new book with the title he wanted and shared that the true title will be available tomorrow.

Billy Dee Williams

Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerBilly Dee Williams joined the stage next. “I didn’t expect to be in this little adventure, but I got lucky.” He continued to share about how he ended up getting to work with J.J. Abrams. He shared that over his sixty-year career, this movie and working with J.J. Abrams was a real highlight. “Lando never left me,” Williams shared when asked about finding the character again. Abrams and Kennedy then shared about how incredible it was to have Williams on the set. Kathleen Kennedy shared how fun it is working with Abrams and how he’ll turn to her and say “can you believe this is happening!?” Williams shared how Lando’s role in the original movies was to keep people from dying. The whole segment was quite humorous.

The Full Cast

Naomi Acki

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Naomi Acki, and BB-8 then came to the stage and the crowd went wild. With the full cast, Naomi Acki was asked first about getting the call to be in Star Wars. She shared that she was in bed and got the call at 7 in the morning. Her best friend and dad were both in the house. When she yelped, which caused her dad came to the rescue. She then had to play it all off like nothing was going on because it was such a secret. Her dad, who did hear, was telling her to be quiet to keep the secret as well. Acki revealed that her character’s name is Janna. Seeing her picture above her, Acki said, “yea man, that’s wicked.” Colbert then asked if her character was Lando’s daughter. “Lando is a very charming man. He could have children all over the universe!” Acki shared as she giggled away.

John Boyega

Boyega was then asked about Finn. Clearly loving being back, Boyega shared that Finn has found his identity within the Resistance. In this film, he has now found himself. Boyega was very excited about his costume in this movie. Boyega then was asked about Captain Phasma and the new movie. Boyega said that she’s gone but in this movie, Finn learns about love and friendship. He also indicated that Finn is “single and ready to mingle” when asked about the love triangle, pentagon, whatever, in this Star Wars trilogy.

Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerOscar Isaac

Oscar Isaac’s first question was if Poe or Han Solo was the better pilot. “Poe is the better Uber driver,” Isaac responds. Poe can fly anything, nobody can fly the Millennium Falcon like Han Solo. Colbert then asked about what Star Wars is like in Spanish, because of Isaac’s heritage. “It’s like this but Spanish,” Isaac quipped. Oscar Isaac did say that Poe is a “human, he doesn’t have any special powers.” When asked what Poe would do after the war since he was born at Yavin IV, Isaac replied: “He seeks a bit of adrenaline so he’ll have to find it somewhere.”

Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerDaisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley’s section began with an impromptu singing of “Happy Birthday.” The first question was if Rey had read the books. “She may have got started, how far through… who knows?” She looked at J.J. and asked how much time between movies to no answer. “She’s getting through them,” she concluded. The next question was about the broken lightsaber. “the lightsaber that Rey inherited from Luke lives,” she responded.  Next question was about new Force powers. “This is a J.J question,” Ridley responded. J.J. Abrams said “I used to love Daisy” before sharing that there are some “extraordinary things” that Rey will be doing in the movie. Some of the incredible things that will be seen will be due to an incredible stunt coordinator. Next Colbert turned to ask about Rey and Kylo Ren and the other potential love interests in the movies. She said we’ll have to wait and see on Rey and Ren. She deflected to Boyega on the Rose and Finn.

Kelly Marie Tran

Kelly Marie Tran received one of the biggest welcomes when Colbert pivoted to ask her question. The crowd went wild and soon was chanting “Kelly!” It appeared that welcome brought tears to her eyes. She was asked about recording an audiobook developed her character more. Asked about as a mechanic what she thought about the Millennium Falcon, she said it was very cool. Next was a kiss question on Rose and Finn. She replied that Finn was a “very eligible bachelor!” Colbert then asked if everyone on stage would end up on the adventure together. Abrams replied, “how dare you!” He continued by saying one of the greatest things Rian Johnson did with Episode VIII was casting Kelly Marie Tran.

Joonas Suotamo

Joonas Suotamo first question was about the costume for Chewbacca. It has been the same costume design since 1977 Suotamo shared. He then gave a tribute to Peter Mayhew and the legacy he created with Chewbacca. Throughout his first answer, he did the Chewie voice multiple times. When asked why Chewie is such a beloved character, Suotamo shared about the duty of playing Chewbacca. Chewbacca shared that no matter how big or small someone is, there is a place for them in this world. He also shared that Porgs taste best fried.

Final Questions & the Trailer

Star Wars: The Rise of SkywalkerWhat was it like filming in Jordan was the topic Colbert then pivoted to and asked the group at large. Anthony Daniels shared about how it was like being in the Ralph McQuarrie concept art. He also shared about what a glorious experience it was. Kennedy and Abrams shared about how incredible it was working in the environment. Lots of different experiences came from that with different breaks and experiences. Oscar Isaac also popped in reminding about sandstorm breaks. Abrams then introduced a new character named Klog that Chewie brought into the fold. Abrams also shared about the incredible new creatures that were created for this movie. Suotamo also shared about getting to have his son visit the set and what a great time his son had on set, especially with Daisy Ridley.

Star Wars fans are the greatest fans in the world” Stephen Colbert shared. He then went on to share the story about how he was able to see Star Wars three weeks before everyone else. This then pivoted to Abrams introducing D-0, BB-8’s new droid friend. A cone on top of a wheel, this droid is an incredible new character for the new movie. “it’s amazing what Celebration makes these geniuses do” he shared as it appears that this was the first time that D-0 has appeared like this.

As the panel wrapped up, it was time to share the name and the trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX. “before everyone leaves, is there anything else…” Colbert asked. “who here wants to see a teaser trailer?” Abrams asked. The crowd went unsurprisingly wild. The teaser trailer was then shown to those in attendance.

The trailer ends with cryptic laughter of the Emperor. Following the trailer, Ian McDiarmid appeared on the stage and in the voice of the Emperor said: “roll it again.” The crowd went wild.  As the trailer played again, the panel concluded.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Teaser

What do you think of what came out of this panel? What are your thoughts on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Share them in the comments below!

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