For one, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber — presumably lost — is in fact still around. It seemingly pops up in some of the first frames of the new trailer, wielded by Rey. Meanwhile, original "Force Awakens" newbies kept a tight lip on "Star Wars" secrets, despite a few interesting details. "The lightsaber that Rey inherited from Luke lives!" Ridley exclaimed.
Not in that movie, Lando!
Luke's Lightsaber: Not Dead Yet!
When Does "Episode IX" Start in the Galaxy Far, Far Away?
Surprise host Stephen Colbert welcomed "Episode IX" director Abrams, president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy and a large returning cast including Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca) to the main stage.
Abrams explained that the next film will start many months after Rian Johnson's "The Last Jedi."
What's Next for Finn?
It confirmed the return of the galaxy's great big bad. How McDiarmid will be used in the film is not certain, but his cackling laughs at the end of the first teaser have already sent the internet ablaze.
On a down note, she also confirmed that there would be no more shirtless scenes from Driver's Kylo Ren, as seen in "The Last Jedi." You win some, you lose some.
Meet D-O
Same. The audience was then presented with the first still of Rose from "The Rise of Skywalker," proving that Rose has healed from her injuries in "The Last Jedi." Abrams told the crowd that his favorite thing to come from Johnson's movie was the casting of Tran.
Billy Dee Is Back
Who is Jannah?
"There was actually a way to use those scenes to continue her story," he added.
Missing from the presentation was Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) and new cast member Keri Russell, who are currently co-starring in a Broadway play together.
Here's everything we learned about the end of the Skywalker story….
However, Ackie did reveal that her character will cross paths with the Millennium Falcon crew at some point, which seems fairly obvious, as they're all in the same movie. But hey, it's something.
Despite "Rogue One's" decision to recreate the late Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin and a younger Fisher as Princess Leia, there will be no computer-generated Leia in this film.
As for Finn, Boyega explained that while his character may have seemed a bit lost in the last two films, "this movie he's a full-fledged Resistance sexy young man.”
The director explained that he pieced together new Leia moments with unused scenes from "The Force Awakens." “You don’t recast that part and you don’t suddenly have [Fisher] disappear," Abrams said.
Speaking of Lando, legacy star Billy Dee Williams held court on the Celebration stage, causing the crowd to cheer at the first image of the actor back in his iconic cape.
“The movie doesn’t pick up immediately after the last film; some time has gone by," Abrams explained.
Another legacy cast member who wasn't a part of the "Episode IX" shoot: Carrie Fisher, aka General Leia Organa. Thankfully, Leia won't be returning in a computer-generated form. Lucasfilm had previously stated that Fisher's death in 2016 wouldn't deter them from using her character in the closing chapter of the Skywalker saga.
How Will Carrie Fisher Return?
When asked to comment on the fan theory that Jannah is actually Lando Calrissian's daughter, Ackie joked, "He could have children all over the universe!"
The Emperor Returns
The first bits of plot details to come from the event were about timing, a simple fact that was particularly difficult for Colbert to get out. "Oh, I see, you asked me to come to Chicago to ask questions, not get answers," the host joked.
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" will hit theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.” />
Lando never left me!” When asked how he returned to the character, Williams simply replied, “How did I find Lando again?
By the way, did anybody die?" "All of a sudden I’m talking about me, not Lando Calrissian. "I get sick and tired of being accused of betraying Han Solo," Williams said. He was up against Darth Vader… Williams did use the mic to clear up an age-old "Star Wars" spat.
#TeamTico
“I saw the blue pants coming out of the cupboard and was like, ‘I'm in "Star Wars" now!'" And that was the big reveal about Finn: blue pants. The character also has a whole new look, which includes new pants, something Boyega went wild over.
He then showed the crowd a piece of concept art reuniting Chewbacca, Poe, Finn, Rey, BB-8 and C-3PO under the Millennium Falcon. The gang might appear together in the rendering, but there's still someone missing: longtime castmate R2-D2. "This an adventure that the group goes on together," the director said.
The stage glowed red as actor Ian McDiarmid appeared, smiled and, in his best Emperor Palpatine voice, commanded the Celebration crew to "roll it again." After fans were treated to the premiere of the teaser trailer for "The Rise of Skywalker," there was yet another twist.
BB-8 is propelled by a large ball and makes adorable chirping sounds, whereas D-O is propelled by a wheel, makes adorable chirping sounds and is green. It's different!
The return of the "greatest evil" is just one of several reveals made during the "The Rise of Skywalker" panel at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.
After giving fans a first look at her character, Jannah (above), the actress dodged questions like a "Star Wars" pro. New to the Celebration stage was Naomi Ackie.
Rose received a standing ovation from the crowd, an act that forced Tran to wipe her eyes and cheer. The undisputed biggest cheer of the presentation went to Kelly Marie Tran.
Abrams is bringing the biggest, baddest villain of the "Star Wars" galaxy back. J.J. The Emperor Palpatine will appear in "Episode IX," which we learned is officially called "The Rise of Skywalker."
"The idea of having a CG character was off the table," Abrams said.
The panel also brought out a whole new adorable rolling droid, D-O, which is totally different from the latest rolling droid BB-8. If you thought there was going to be another "Star Wars" movie without a new toy that your kids will demand, think again.