A leading theory that's been making the rounds on Star Wars spoiler sites is that Ben Solo will fall to his death in the Rise of Skywalker. This is a popular way to die in this saga, considering that's how we saw Boba Fett, Emperor Palpatine, and Darth Maul go out in Star Wars.
This theory gained a lot of credence recently when fans finally got to see the final trailer for Rise of Skywalker earlier this week.
If you take a look at the top of the frame above, you'll see what fans are saying looks like the aforementioned "pit." Rey stands in front of a resurrected Palpatine, alone, ready to confront him and bring an end to the Dark Side of the Force once and for all. But where's Ben? From what the leakers on Reddit are saying, the moody Skywalker nephew is at the bottom of that deep, dark hole.
But, as in the case of Palpatine and Darth Maul, being thrown down a pit doesn't mean that Ben Solo is definitely gone. In fact, his climb back to ground-level may explain why the film is called Rise of Skywalker. Get it? He physically "rises" out of the depths to confront the Dark Lord of the Sith with Rey.
This would explain the spoilery image that was leaked earlier this week depicting Ben and Rey, both holding blue lightsabers, facing down Palpatine together. Adam Driver's character has climbed out of the depths–both literally and figuratively–rising from the darkness to return to his Jedi roots and bring an end to Palpatine.
And there's even some precedent in the comics for Kylo Ren knowing how to get himself out of a deep hole. A Redditor posted an image from Marvel's Kylo Ren comic series, showing the Sith-in-training learning how to stop himself from falling in mid-air with the Force. This may prove useful, especially if the pit is particularly deep. He may have a long way to the top.
According to Box Office Pro, the third film in the third trilogy is projected to open between $185 million and $225 million. That puts it below the Force Awakens $248 million and The Last Jedi's $220 million. However, long range ticketing forecasts often change as the release date gets closer. Furthermore, the higher end of The Rise of Skywalker is $225 million, which would, in fact, place it above The Last Jedi.
Still, this does not mean that The Rise of Skywalker will fail at the box office. The film has already sold more tickets than any other Star Wars movie on Fandango and set the general record on Atom.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, with Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams. The film arrives on Dec. 20.
Daisy Ridley has four words to describe Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
EW asked for three, but Ridley gave four because she’s an actress who literally gives 133.33 percent.
“Definitely dark….” Ridley begins
“There are bits that are genuinely scary,” she continues.
Cool: Dark and scary…
“And sad,” she adds.
Okay, that’s three. But the Disney sci-fi epic is now sounding a bit like a horror movie, so…
“And joyful,” she concludes.
Dark, scary, sad, joyful — there you have it.
The final film in the Skywalker saga picks up with Ridley’s character, Rey, more than a year after the events of 2017’s The Last Jedi, with the orphaned desert scavenger turned Jedi apprentice practicing her newfound abilities and destined for a climactic face-off with the seductive First Order supreme leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
“Obviously, there’s this whole Reylo thing and some people are very passionate about it, some aren’t,” Ridley previously told EW. “[Director J.J. Abrams] does deal with [it]. It’s a very complex issue. People talk about toxic relationships and whatever it is. It’s no joke and I think it’s dealt with really well because it’s not skimmed over.”
We’ve been so busy obsessing over The Mandalorian we almost forgot it was getting close to the time Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker features would start rolling out! Ok, not really...
Entertainment Weekly has dropped its big cover story for The Rise of Skywalker (as they are wont to do) as well as revealing some new photos from the film. As you can imagine, there isn’t much in the way of actual details revealed.
Abrams divulged that while Rey is definitely still training as the film picks up (about a year after the events of The Last Jedi), she still has some of her previous skills to fall back on in this final leg of the journey.
“The scavenger who is desperate and haggling for portions and trying to survive [in Force Awakens] — those special skills and that special experience ends up being something that is essential to saving the galaxy,” he said.
Daisy Ridley added that while she’s got a lot of cool skills now, Rey doesn’t consider herself “confident” just yet. “She’s definitely more in control of everything and can do new fun stuff, but she’s vulnerable and a little insecure about at all,” she said.
The director has been tasked with bringing four decades of the most popular and longest-running sci-fi franchise of all time to an epic conclusion. And nowadays he’s feeling a bit like Luke Skywalker flying his X-wing down the Death Star trench in A New Hope as TIE fighters closed in — under a bit of pressure, in other words, with the fate of the entire Star Wars universe depending on him.
“We always knew we were going to have three fewer months to postproduction this film,” says Abrams, who took over co-writing and directing duties on the movie two years ago after successfully rebooting the franchise with 2015’s blockbuster The Force Awakens. “So much is still being worked on. It’s literally a practical race to get it finished.”
Despite a deadline crunch to make the film’s Dec. 20 worldwide launch (EW’s interview was conducted in late October), Abrams says he’s feeling “infinitely better” at this very late stage about The Rise of Skywalker than he was about The Force Awakens.
“We had more reshoots on Episode VII than this one,” Abrams says. “We had more story adjustments on VII than this one. We didn’t know if these characters would work, if the actors would be able to carry a Star Wars movie. There were a lot of things we didn’t know. On this, we knew who and what worked, and everyone is doing the best work I’ve ever seen anyone do. But the ambition of this movie is far greater than Force Awakens. What we set out to do was far more challenging. Everything is exponentially larger on this.”
For example: Disney has released three trailers for The Rise of Skywalker. Some of the shots are stunning and seemingly revealing: desert scavenger–turned–Jedi apprentice Rey (Daisy Ridley) and First Order leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) clashing with lightsabers on the half-submerged wreckage of the second Death Star, which was blown up in Return of the Jedi; Rey facing off against a somehow resurrected Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid); the Millennium Falcon flying into a massive armada of Star Destroyers. Plus, those bewildering teases of Rey turning to the Dark Side and teaming up with Kylo.