D23 Expo: Rey turns to the dark side in ‘Rise of Skywalker’ footage

UPDATED with newly released D23 special look. You can read the original post below.

Walt Disney’s Studio panel began with a bang by bringing out Lucasfilm and introducing the final film in the Skywalker Saga, The Rise of Skywalker. Joining Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams on stage was the cast of Rise of Skywalker, and we got a little bit more insight into some of the characters in the film. This is especially true for Keri Russell, who plays the rogue Zorri Bliss. She says that her character is shady and kind of a criminal. So it’s only right that she’s a friend of Poe Dameron’s. Also, Lucasfilm gave us our first look at Zorri as well. Her jumpsuit is red and she wears a black and gold helmet too. The helmet’s very reminiscent of Guy-Manuel’s helmet from Daft Punk.

Of course, they gave us some brand new footage. But first, they revealed the brand new poster for The Rise of Skywalker. The poster features Rey and Kylo Ren fighting on a piece of a broken ship. Above them, in the stars, is Emperor Palpatine. It’s a beautiful piece of art.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Theatrical Poster

Now, it’s time for the one thing that everyone was waiting for. Brand new footage from The Rise of Skywalker. Unfortunately, Abrams was quick to point out that the footage they’re showing WASN’T a new trailer. They’re still working on that. However, they put together a kind of sizzle reel of the past 40-years of the Skywalker Saga with some new footage thrown in there.

While the new footage was mostly a montage of action scenes, the one biggest surprise came at the very end. The footage ended with Rey looking like she’s joined the Dark Side. She has a Palpatine-style hood on and a red lightsaber that’s reminiscent of Kylo Ren’s unstable lightsaber. However, once she turns it on she unfolds the lightsaber to become a dual-wield lightsaber.

Now, of course, there are a lot of questions that come from this piece of footage. Does Rey turn to the dark side? Is this Palpatine’s doing? Where does Kylo Ren play into this situation? Star Wars fandom will have their theories but this is one of the most interesting turns of the panel.

For more D23 coverage, click here.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1622 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.