Since Disney relaunched the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens, we've been lucky to receive a new Star Wars every year since. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean we're getting great movies. The last two offerings—The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story—were passable movies but left us ultimately unsatisfied. That's why Star Wars: Episode IX has a lot riding on it.

After a brief detour with Rian Johnson, director J.J. Abrams is back to complete the trilogy he began. We're very thankful for his return because we're not entirely sure Johnson knew how the Force works. Abrams should provide a satisfactory end to the trilogy.

We are still a long ways away from Star Wars: Episode IX coming out, but that won't stop us from looking forward to the movie. We are Star Wars fans to the core and just like most people out there, our curiosity about the next movie is as high as ever. So we've rummaged through the vast internet and found the limited information that's come out about the movie and put it into one post.

Here's everything you need to know about Star Wars: Episode IX

All the big details

When is Star Wars: Episode IX coming out?

Aside from changing things up with Solo: A Star Wars Story, Disney likes to release its Star Wars movies in December, which is when Star Wars: Episode IX< is coming out. Friday December 20, 2019 to be exact. Like I said, that's a long time away but the year will go by in a flash.

Interestingly, when Disney originally announced Episode IX, it set a release date for May 24, 2019. Eventually it decided to move it back seven months to give the production team more time to really create a worthwhile movie.

In another trivia note, along with the original release date, Luscafilm announced Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow would direct the film. But as you guessed it by now, he was let go which was when Abrams was brought back on.

A recap of Episode VII and VIII

When J.J. Abrams started this new trilogy, he began with a focus on Rey in The Force Awakens. The lonesome scavenger from Jakku runs into BB-8 along the way and then into Finn and then Han Solo and Chewbacca which brings her into the fold of the Resistance. Once aboard, she helps them take on the First Order and its leader, Kylo Ren, also known as Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Princess Leia.

The First Order is prepping to take over the universe with its powerful Starkiller Base ready to decimates rogue planets, but the Resistance manages to destroy the base. However, it wasn't without casualties, most notably, Han Solo who dies at the hands of Kylo Ren.

After a spirited Jedi duel in which Rey unexpectedly defeats Kylo Ren, the Resistance regroups at D-Qar where Rey and Chewie set off to Ahct-To and find Luke Skywalker.

The Last Jedi picks right up with Rey seeking training from Luke who hesitates but eventually agrees to train her. During her training, Rey finds a connection with Kylo which leads her to discovering what really led him down the dark side: Upon seeing his immense power and dark side, Luke contemplates taking out Ben Solo out of pure fear sending him down the path of the dark side.

Convinced she can pull Kylo back into the light side, Rey departs find him. Elsewhere the Resistance continues to battle the First Order but it's a losing battle. After multiple defeats, the remaining members of the Resistance including General Organa and Poe make their way to Crait.

When Rey finds Kylo, she gives herself up willingly over to Snoke to somehow persuade Kylo to join the light side, and for a brief moment he does, taking out Snoke and his guards with the help of Rey, but he returns to the dark side.

The First Order now arrives on Crait ready to finally take out the Resistance for good when they are confronted by Luke Skywalker. Luke and Kylo embark on an epic Jedi duel that ends in a slatemate, but it turns out it was a slight of hand as he was Force projection. This allows the Resistance to escape and live another day.

We know nothing about the plot

Disney has released absolutely zero details about the movie so far. We've seen no plot synopsis, trailers or first-look images. Not even the title has been revealed. Disney likely wants to keep it that way for the time being as it focuses on finishing the project.

All we know so far is that the Resistance suffered a great defeat but Princess Leia still holds out hope saying it has all it needs to rise again.

What we do know

Though official details have been scarce, we know a thing or two about some things that might be included in the movie. The first comes from leaked concept art that revealed Abrams might be bringing back another super weapon.

Leaked concept art back in October revealed that World Devastators could be used in the movie. In case you are unfamiliar with the weapon, which has been used in the expanded Star Wars universe, it is known for dropping onto a planet and destroying it from the inside. It's a new planet killer in the same vein as the Death Star and Starkiller Base.

Some other information we've heard comes from Kevin Smith. The comedian was on Good Morning America in December where he revealed he had recently visited the Star Wars: Episode IX set. He didn't reveal any spoilers but he did sound really excited about what J.J. Abrams is doing.

J.J.'s doing the Lord's work. This movie looks fantastic. It's a year away, but man, it looks fantastic. I wept on set because I saw somebody give a career-best performance. Somebody I've seen in these movies before. I rolled a tear, it was so darn powerful. Biggest set I've ever seen in my life. The dude's not directing a movie. It's like he's directing a small country.

Old and new faces

Aside from that, we do know that the rest of the big players are returning with Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn and Poe Dameron. We've already seen a few epic Jedi bouts between Rey and Kylo Ren, but Episode IX should provide the most epic of them all. The two characters connected on an emotional level in The Last Jedi and that should only ramp up the stakes as Rey sided with the Light side of the Force and Kylo Ren chose the Dark side.

Princess Leia will also return. Carrie Fisher, who plays the iconic role, sadly passed away in December 2016 and it was unclear if her character would be included in the storyline with the use of CGI, similar to what Rogue One did with her likeness. It was later confirmed that Abrams is going to use unused footage from The Last Jedi to keep her character in the movie.

Mark Hamill will return to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker, though we expect it only to be in Force ghost form. Last we saw of him, he used his Force projection to battle Kylo Ren as the Resistance escaped the base on Crait. The strain was too much on him and he passed away on Ahch-To, but that won't be the end of Luke just yet.

Some of the new faces that will join the cast are Billy Dee Williams, who is reprising his role as Lando Calrissian from the original trilogy, Keri Russell and Matt Smith. It's not yet clear what Russell and Smith's role will be in the movie.

Here's a complete list of characters in Episode IX:

  • Rey – Daisy Ridley
  • Kylo Ren – Adam Driver
  • Finn – John Boyega
  • Poe Dameron – Oscar Isaac
  • Princess Leia Organa – Carrie Fisher
  • Luke Skywalker – Mark Hamill
  • Maz Kanata – Lupita Nyong'o
  • Generel Hux – Domhall Gleeson
  • Rose – Kelly Marie Tran
  • Chewbacca – Joona Suotamo
  • C-3PO – Anthony Daniels
  • R2-D2 – Jimmy Vee
  • Lieutenant Connix – Billie Lourd
  • Keri Russell with unspecified role
  • Matt Smith with unspecified role
  • Dominic Monaghan with unspecified role

An epic finale

Though details are limited, we know we are in for an epic finale with Star Wars: Episode IX. Disney already knows it failed fans with The Last Jedi and it wants to move on from that and deliver a worthwhile movie all fans can really buy into. Which is why it went all out to bring back J.J. Abrams. Now it's only a matter of time until we return to the galaxy, far, far, away.

Star Wars: Episode IX opens December 20, 2019.