D23 attendees were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at some exclusive footage and behind the scenes shots from The Rise of Skywalker.
One of the most striking reveals in the new footage was a shot of Rey in a Sith Robe brandishing a double sided red lightsaber. No word on whether this was a vision or otherwise, but Rey turning to the Dark Side would be an amazing twist that might send this movie into the stratosphere.
The footage also showed an epic duel between Kylo and Rey, but it is unclear at this moment what side each of them are fighting for and what the reason for the clash is.
After the footage rolled at D23, a majority of the cast of The Rise of Skywalker walked on stage to speak about the movie and the parts they played. One of the highlights of this session was JJ Abrams speaking about the part that Leia will play in this film.
The character of Leia is really, in a way, the heart of this story. When we were talking about this story we realized we could not possibly tell the end of these nine films without Leia.https://www.starwars.com/news/d23-expo-2019-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-highlights?cmp=smc%7C2587669959
Abrams used cut footage from The Force Awakens to bring Leia to the big screen one last time. What’s interesting is that Carrie Fisher seemed to know that JJ Abrams would eventually take the helm of The Rise of Skywalker far before Colin Trevorrow’s departure from the film. Fisher added a passage to JJ in her book, The Princess Diarist, that thanks him for working with her twice.
‘And special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ Now, I had never worked with her before The Force Awakens and I wasn’t supposed to do this movie, so it was a classic Carrie thing to sort of write something like that and it could only mean one thing for me. And I could not be more excited to have you see her in her final performance.”https://www.starwars.com/news/d23-expo-2019-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-highlights?cmp=smc%7C2587669959
Keri Russel also spoke a bit about her experience on TROS and how it was to portray Zori Bliss.
I had this amazing costume and this helmet, which I actually loved to wear and didn’t take it off for about the first two days. I wore it the whole time, but I found it incredibly, strangely empowering and exciting. I can’t wait for you guys to meet Zorri. She’s very cool and a little bit shady.https://www.starwars.com/news/d23-expo-2019-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-highlights?cmp=smc%7C2587669959
It was also revealed that Zori and Poe have apparently been friends since they were young, so it looks like she will not be entering the fray as a complete unknown to the members of the Resistance.
It seems like there was a ton of great footage at D23 and some great interviews with the cast and crew. Hopefully, the rest of us fans will be able to see the footage at some point.