What We Learned About Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

Hey All!

Last week we had the amazing opportunity to attend the press junket for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! It was bittersweet as it would be the last time we touch on the Skywalker saga that began decades ago. In attendance at the junket was J.J. Abrams … Writer / Director, Chris Terrio … Writer, Daisy Ridley … “Rey”, Oscar Isaac … “Poe Dameron”, John Boyega … “Finn”,  Adam Driver … “Kylo Ren”, Keri Russell … “Zorii Bliss”, Kelly Marie Tran … “Rose Tico”, Naomi Ackie … “Jannah”, Joonas Suotamo … “Chewbacca”,  Anthony Daniels … “C-3PO”, Richard E. Grant … “Allegiant General Pryde”, and the one and only Billy Dee Williams … “Lando Calrissian”! I was thrilled to get the opportunity to even be in the same room as Billy Dee!

The press conference is moderated by Ava Duvernay. She took the stage and kicked off the panel with some great questions. Here is a little of what we learned during this once in a lifetime event.

JJ shared what the differences in making each movie he directed and worked on.

The difference is that the pressure’s shifted. First day of Rise of Skywalker, we knew those things were working. What we didn’t know was everything else. The responsibility was significant. The scale of the movie, this picture is enormous, we knew none of that would matter if you didn’t care about the people.

Naomi Ackie spoke about how she prepared for her role as the new character Jannah.

I felt like Jannah’s strength was in her body. She’s a very grounded character. Working with JJ and figuring out what the balance was between strength of a character but also a vulnerability of the character. I feel like we found it by the end. We watched it yesterday, I’m not being funny… I left it like my heart was beating so heart. It’s the most visually beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

Kelly Marie Tran shared what is was like getting back together with everyone to shoot the film.

It was really wonderful. I think from the last film there seems to be such a bond between everyone and then also the new guys…It truly feels like everyone’s a family.

JJ shared a little about Carrie Fisher. It also got very weird as a light when out right as he was talking about the lights and Carrie. He made a comment as if her spirit was saying hi.

Carrie was such a big part of Star Wars and for me, personally, there was a sense of wanting to honor that. I think she’s pretty incredible in this movie. It felt as if she was with us with all the footage we had of her.

Joonas Suotamo touched on taking over Chewbacca.

When Peter passed, I was heartbroken. I tried to do him justice in this film.,I’m really proud, with this incredible cast, that we’re a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.

Anthony Daniels shared that he finally understands what Star Wars means to people.

I’ve only just realized what it means because I’ve been in all of the movies, I am so close to it, it’s like having your nose up against the planet. You can’t see how big the planet is. It’s meant something completely different to me. It’s a job. It’s kind of fun. It’s kind of awkward sometimes. Now I’m getting to see it from a different perspective.

Abrams shared what this movie means to him and what does he want to say with it.

The thing that mattered to me most…is the people who are sitting here and what you’re watching and the eyes of the characters and the heart of the characters. For me, rather than give away themes…I would say that it really is about hope and it’s about coming back to a sense of possibility and unity…If Star Wars can’t do that for us, I don’t know what can.

And last but not least, Billy Dee Williams shared what it was like to bring back Lando to the big screen.

This has been s great pleasure for me, doing Lando. I didn’t think it would happen. But when I got the call from JJ and then when we met, I just chuckled because it was a wonderful gift.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theatres now!

For more information about the film, please visit http://www.starwars.com.