‘Star Wars’ actors teased an epic send-off on Saturday.
New footage from ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ showed heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) wielding a red, two-sided lightsabre, generating thunderous applause from roughly 6,000 people in the Anaheim Convention Centre for the company’s D23 Expo fan event.
The movie is the ninth instalment in the space saga started 40 years ago by George Lucas. It debuts in theatres in December 20.
“It’s kind of hard for me to understand the story is ending, but what an ending!” Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO, said onstage surrounded by cast members and droids R2-D2 and BB-8.
The colour of Rey’s lightsabre was a surprise because red is typically used in the galaxy far, far away only by characters on the Dark Side. Ridley offered little explanation.
“It’s the clearest indication that there’s a big old emotional story arc happening,” the actress said in an interview.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy says that ‘Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker’ is going to be an incredibly good time.
Nearly 7,000 people got a look Saturday at a new poster and some new footage from the film.
The film closes out the over 40-year-old Skywalker saga. Kennedy was joined on the convention stage by writer-director JJ Abrams and stars including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels.
Abrams said that the late Carrie Fisher is also part of ‘Episode IX’ thanks to unused footage from ‘Episode VII’.
Disney is dominating movie box offices this year, generating more than $8 billion in ticket sales from ‘Avengers: Endgame’, ‘The Lion King’ and other mega-hits.
Saturday’s presentation looked to the future and featured a parade of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Dwayne Johnson made his entrance on a makeshift boat to promote ‘Jungle Cruise’, an action-adventure movie based on the Disney theme park ride. Johnson said the film was modelled after films such as the ‘Indiana Jones’ series and ‘Romancing the Stone’.
Like those movies, ‘Jungle Cruise’ tells the story “heroic men kicking ass and saving the girl,” Johnson dead-panned, prompting co-star Emily Blunt to come out in protest and introduce clips of her character jumping out a window and needing no assistance.
In addition, Disney revealed scenes from Marvel movie ‘Black Widow’ and a live-action re-telling of ‘Mulan’. Angelina Jolie came on stage to talk about ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’, and announced ‘Game of Thrones’ star Kit Harington was joining the cast of superhero flick ‘The Eternals’, which also stars Jolie.