It's the twelfth theatrically released film in the Star Wars franchise, and was directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams also served as a writer alongside Chris Terrio and George Lucas, who provided a treatment for the film.
The remnants of the Resistance face the First Order once again while reckoning with the past and their own inner turmoil. Meanwhile, the ancient conflict between the Jedi and the Sith reaches its climax, altogether bringing the Skywalker saga to a definitive end.
One year after the Battle of Crait, the war between the Resistance and the First Order has continued across the galaxy. Kylo Ren, the Supreme Leader of the First Order, obtains a Sith Wayfinder on the planet Mustafar, in which he slaughters the entire civilians with the First Order. The device leads him to planet Exegol, in which he finds the surviving and the disfigured Emperor Palpatine, who reveals that he has brought himself back to life after his death at the hands of Darth Vader, thanks to his powers of the dark side of the Force. Palpatine also reveals that he created a clone in the form of Snoke, which created the First Order and lured Kylo to the dark side. Palpatine grants Kylo with a secret massive armada of Star Destroyers, calling them the Final Order, and offers Kylo the opportunity for him to become the ruler of a new Empire to take ultimate control of the galaxy, then commands him to find and kill Rey, whom Palpatine states is "not who you think she is".
At the Resistance base, Rey continues her Jedi training under Leia Organa's guidance, though she struggles with using the Force to hear the Jedi of the past. Finn, Chewbacca, and Poe Dameron retrieve information on Kylo's discovery originating from a First Order spy. After learning that Palpatine has returned and is hiding on Exegol, Rey discovers notes on a Sith artifact in the Jedi texts that Luke Skywalker had left behind him. Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewbacca, BB-8, and C-3PO leave for Passanna to seek a contact Luke knew, while R2-D2 and Rose Tico stay with Leia and the Resistance. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren holds a meeting with several First Order members, including General Hux and Allegiant General Enric Pryde, and they discuss their latest plans, along with Palpatine's resurrection and the fact that there's a hidden spy in the First Order.
On Passanna, the group encounters Lando Calrissian, who leads them to the artifact's last known location in the desert. Kylo learns where Rey is through their still-intact Force connection and travels to Passanna with the Knights of Ren. Rey and the others discover the remains of a Sith assassin, his ship, and a dagger inscribed with Sith text, which C-3PO's programming forbids him from interpreting. Sensing that Kylo is nearby, Rey goes to confront him. The First Order captures the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca, and the dagger; Rey, attempting to save Chewbacca, accidentally destroys a First Order transport with Force lightning. The group escapes on the assassin's ship, presuming Chewbacca was killed in the explosion, though he is actually held captive by the First Order.
Poe suggests that they head to Kijimi to have the Sith text extracted from C-3PO's memory. Upon arriving at the planet, they meet one of Poe's old acquaintances, masked criminal Zorii Bliss, and Zorii is persuaded to help the group after Rey beats her in a brief skirmish. Zorii helps the group find a way to successfully extract the Sith text from C-3PO's memory, which reveals the location of Palpatine's wayfinder, though in the process, C-3PO loses his memory.
Rey senses that Chewbacca is alive, and the group begin a rescue mission. While Kylo searches for Rey on Kimiji, the group infiltrate his Star Destroyer and rescue Chewbacca. During this, Rey splits up from the group and enters a room, finding the dagger, and she has visions of the assassin killing her parents with it. Through their Force connection, Kylo confronts Rey and engages in a lightsaber duel with her across two different locations, Rey on the Star Destroyer and Kylo on Kimiji. During the duel, Kylo tells Rey that there is more to her story than he had originally thought, and promises to tell her the rest in person. Upon saving Chewbacca, Finn and Poe are captured by Stormtroopers, but are unexpectedly helped to escape by General Hux, who reveals that he is the spy, but only with the intention to undermine Kylo Ren and see him lose out of spite, not to help the Resistance. Kylo confronts Rey in person and reveals the ultimate truth: that she is Palpatine's granddaughter; Palpatine had ordered her death as a child, fearing her power, but her parents placed Rey on Jakku to keep her safe, before the assassin killed her parents. Kylo also tells her that their Force connection is actually a Force Dyad and asks Rey to join him again to kill Palpatine and take his throne together. But Rey refuses again and escapes with the group on the Falcon. Allegiant General Pryde discovers Hux's treason and executes him, taking command of the First Order military, and the First Order destroys Kijimi using a superlaser cannon as an act of loyalty to Palpatine.
Using the information from C-3PO's translation of the dagger's writing, the group follow the coordinates to the ocean moon of Kef Bir, where the wayfinder device revealing Palpatine's location is hidden. There, they meet a woman named Jannah, who leads them to the remains of the second Death Star in Endor. During this, Finn and Jannah begin to form a bond as Jannah reveals that she was once a First Order Stormtrooper who also deserted after refusing to kill civilians. Rey uses the dagger to locate the wayfinder herself and finds it inside the ruins of the Death Star, and envisions herself as a Sith upon contacting it. Kylo, having tracked the group to Kef Bir, destroys the wayfinder, and a final lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo ensues through the Death Star ruins in the middle of raging waters. Kylo dominates their fight, until Leia uses the Force to call to Kylo, dying in the process. Kylo stops upon sensing his mother's death, but Rey quickly gets back up and impales him. In this moment, Rey also senses Leia's death, which allows her to let go of the hatred she was losing herself into and realize what she had just done. She uses the Force to heal Kylo, admitting that she wanted to take Ben Solo's hand during their confrontation in Snoke's throne room. Then, she leaves the planet on Kylo's ship. Kylo soon converses with a vision of his father and eventually makes the decision to throw away his lightsaber, reclaiming his identity as Ben Solo and turning back to the light side.
Rey exiles herself to Ahch-To, shaken by her Sith lineage and her attempt to kill Kylo. She is about to throw away Anakin's lightsaber, but it is suddenly caught by the Force Ghost of Luke Skywalker. Luke finally admits to Rey that he was wrong in exiling himself and not helping the Resistance, and reveals that he and Leia knew that Rey was Palpatine's granddaughter, but still trained her because Rey had something that Palpatine doesn't: a heart and spirit. Luke encourages Rey to face Palpatine as he faced Darth Vader, giving her his old X-wing and Leia's old lightsaber when she trained as a Jedi. Rey then begins heading for Exegol, transmitting her coordinates to the Resistance.
Back at the Resistance base, the group mourns Leia's death. Poe shows fear in becoming the new general of the Resistance, but Lando returns and encourages him, telling him that he, Luke, Han and Leia managed to win against the Empire because of their reliance on each other. R2-D2 restores C-3PO's memory, and they reveal Rey is heading to Exegol to confront Palpatine. With the First Order about to seize the galaxy with Allegiant General Pryde now in full command and the Final Order at their side, the Resistance, with Poe as the new general and Finn as co-general, decides to take their final stand against the enemy in order to save the galaxy once and for all, with the hope that good people in the galaxy will join the fight if the Resistance leads them.
Rey arrives on Exegol and enters the Sith Citadel, where she finds Palpatine, who demands that she kill him to transfer his spirit into Rey. At the same time, the Resistance, including Poe, Finn, Jannah, BB-8, R2-D2, and Rose, engages in a huge battle with the First Order and Palpatine's fleet at Exegol's skylines, with Finn and Jannah leading a ground assault on Pryde's Star Destroyer, and Poe leading an air strike. They begin to lose the battle, however, and start to suffer heavy losses, until Lando and Chewbacca, riding the Falcon, arrive with an entire galaxy fleet of starships, among them Zorii Bliss and Wedge Antilies, and they begin to turn the tide of the battle, much to Pryde's shock, due to the fact that the new army they're facing is "just people".
Meanwhile, just as Rey is about to reluctantly kill Palpatine in order to save her friends from doom, the newly-redeemed Ben Solo arrives on Exegol to assist Rey. Wielding Luke's lightsaber, Ben defeats the Knights of Ren and joins Rey in facing Palpatine. Palpatine quickly discovers the duo's Force Dyad, and uses the Force to absorb the life energy of their dyad, restoring his full strength completely; he then proceeds to destructively attack the Resistance by blasting Force lightning to the sky and attacks Ben using the Force, causing him to fall into an abyss, nearly killing him. A weakened Rey suddenly hears the voices of past Jedi, including Luke, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, and other past Jedi, who all lend their power into her. She rises against Palpatine, who attacks her with lightning in a final attempt to kill her, but Rey uses the two Skywalker lightsabers to deflect it back at him, and completely destroys his body, finally ending the reign of the Sith Lord forever. At the same time, the Resistance wins the battle and destroys Palpatine's armada, killing Pryde in the process. After defeating Palpatine, Rey dies from the sheer power shortly after. Ben climbs back up the abyss and crawls towards Rey's lifeless body, gathering her into his arms. Shaken by her death, he decides to sacrifice himself by using the Force to resurrect her; as she wakes up, the two smile at each other before sharing a passionate kiss. While still in her arms, Ben vanishes into the Force.
Inspired by the Resistance's victory, dozens of people rise up against the First Order, ultimately saving the galaxy from evil for good. The Resistance returns to their base and celebrates their victory and the dawn of long-awaited peace in the galaxy. Maz Kanata gives Chewbacca a medal which belonged to Han Solo, Poe and Zorii share a look of respect, Lando offers to help Jannah discover her true identity, and Rey, Finn and Poe each share an emotional embrace. Later, Rey visits the Lars homestead on Tatooine, where she buries the Skywalker lightsabers, having built her own golden lightsaber. A local asks her name; as the spirits of Luke and Leia look on, she replies; "Rey Skywalker."
- Daisy Ridley as Rey
- Adam Driver as Ben Solo/Kylo Ren
- John Boyega as Finn
- Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
- Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
- Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine
- Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
- Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa (unreleased footage)
- Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
- Naomi Ackie as Jannah
- Keri Russell as Zorii Bliss
- Richard E. Grant as Allegiant General Pryde
- Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux
- Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata
- Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico
- Billie Lourd as Lieutenant Connix
- Dominic Monaghan as Beaumont Kin
- Greg Grunberg as Snap Wexley
- Shirley Henderson as Babu Frik (voice)
- Brian Herring as BB-8 (puppeteer)
- Jimmy Vee as R2-D2 (puppeteer)
- J.J. Abrams as D-O (voice)
- Nick Kellington as Klad
- Harrison Ford as Han Solo (uncredited)
- Jodie Comer as Rey's mother
- Billy Howle as Rey's father
- Mike Quinn and Kipsang Rotich as Nien Numb (cameo)
- Denis Lawson as Wedge Antilles (cameo)
- Warwick Davis as Wicket W. Warrick (cameo)
- John Williams as Kijimi bartender (cameo)
- Lin-Manuel Miranda as Resistance trooper (cameo)
- Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice cameo)
- Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi (archive footage, voice cameo)
- Frank Oz as Yoda (voice cameo)
- Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker (voice cameo)
- Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn (voice cameo)
- Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu (voice cameo)
- Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan Jarrus (voice cameo)
- Olivia d'Abo as Luminara Unduli (voice cameo)
- Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano (voice cameo)
- Jennifer Hale as Aayla Secura (voice cameo)
- Angelique Perrin as Adi Galia (voice cameo)
Unofficial reports claimed in November 2012 that Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the screenplays for both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and co-writer Simon Kinberg would divide writing responsibilities for The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, and both would co-produce all three films of the upcoming sequel trilogy, alongside Kathleen Kennedy.
However, in February 2013, Disney confirmed that Kasdan and Kinberg were working on standalone films, not Sequel Trilogy episodes.
During a concert with the Young Musician's Foundation Debut Orchestra on February 9, composer John Williams stated that he was hoping to get the chance to write the musical scores for the entire new trilogy. His involvement was made official when Star Wars Insider 144 stated he would score the "new Star Wars trilogy". Later in 2018, it was revealed that this will be the last Star Wars film Williams will be composing the score.
On September 12, 2017, it was announced that J.J. Abrams will return to direct the film, replacing Colin Trevorrow, with Chris Terrio announced to be writing the script with Abrams. It was further announced later in the day that the film had been delayed to December 20, 2019.
The first trailer for the film was released in April 2019 during Star Wars Celebration Chicago. The film's title was revealed via this trailer, the end of which also revealed that Ian McDiarmid would be returning as Emperor Palpatine, the overarching main antagonist of the series.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 52% based on 472 reviews, with an average rating of 6.23/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion." Metacritic, another review aggregator, assigned the film a weighted average score of 54 out of 100 based on 60 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
This makes The Rise of Skywalker the worst rated/reviewed Star Wars film since 1999's The Phantom Menace, which has a 53%.
- December 16, 2019 (Premiere - Los Angeles, CA, United States)
- December 18, 2019 (Festival do Rio - Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil)
- December 18, 2019 (Switzerland (French, German and Italian speaking regions))
- December 18, 2019 (Austria, Belgium, China (limited release), Germany, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Croatia, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine)
- December 19, 2019 (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Spain, Georgia, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Uruguay)
- December 20, 2019 (Bulgaria, China, Estonia, India, Japan, Lebanon, Latvia, Philippines (limited release), Romania, Turkey)
- January 3, 2020 (Vietnam)
- January 8, 2020 (Philippines, South Korea)
- This is the first Disney-distributed film to use the 2019 MPA logo in the end credits. It is also the first Star Wars (and Lucasfilm) film to do so.
- ↑ J. J. Abrams returning to Star Wars Episode IX
- ↑ "Star Wars: Episode IX Moves To Dec. 2019, Disney’s Christopher Robin Project Opens Next August". Deadline. (September 12, 2017)
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