In ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Trailer a Classic Villain Returns

It's finally here!

This article has been updated.

Depending on how you look at it, it’s been either months or years of waiting for this moment. Even if you’re a casual Star Wars person, you’re probably pretty interested in how the story of the Skywalker family is all going to end. And now, the first trailer for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is here!

At Star Wars Celebration in Chicago on Friday, Stephen Colbert kicked off a panel with a ton of jokes about the planet Dagobah, and a deep-cut Star Wars references to the novel Heir to the Empire. He then started grilling director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

Kennedy described Episode IX as “the third act of a three-act structure,” while Abrams said that though it’s the end of “three trilogies, it also has to be its own movie…it’s about this generation [facing] the greatest evil.” The trailer reveals who that great evil actually is: the final moments of the trailer feature the iconic laugh of Emperor Palpatine, the Dark Lord of the Sith who is behind pretty much everything, starting with Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Abrams also confirmed that the core “group” of characters — Rey, Poe, and Finn — will go on an adventure together. A photo of all three of them, standing with BB-8 outside the Millennium Falcon was revealed.

Abrams also addressed the death of Carrie Fisher and said that using a “CG character” for Leia was “off the table.” And also, that they couldn’t “fill the void” of Fisher’s loss. The new trailer shows footage of Leia hugging Rey.

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Daisy Ridley also says that the lightsaber she “inherited from Luke Skywalker…lives…”

The trailer also featured a voiceover from Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. And, in the final line of the trailer, Luke echoes a line from The Last Jedi saying “no one is ever really gone.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.