While much of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker still remains a secret, Celebration Chicago shed some light on what fans can expect from the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. Now, a new cover story from Variety has revealed even more about the movie, including the names of two of the planets first teased in the first Episode IX trailer. Not only that but the report might have also dropped a few important details about how the movie’s story might unfold.
The desert planet we see in the opening of the trailer, as Rey prepares to face off against a new model of TIE Interceptor, is called Pasaana. No, it seems that the saga won’t come full circle on Tatooine, as many fans theorized.
Pasaana is the home of a new race of aliens known as the Aki-Aki, which look sort of squid-like and somewhat similar to the Quarren from the water world of Mon Calamari. The planet is also the site of some sort of battle or confrontation between the Resistance and the First Order.
Not only do we see Rey face off against a TIE in the trailer, but we also see Poe and Finn evading Stormtroopers on a sand skid. One of the photos from the Vanity Fair story also teases that Finn and Jannah, Naomi Ackie’s mystery rebel, will ride “horse-like creatures called orbaks,” which are native to the planet, in a fight against “the mechanized forces of the First Order.”
That last bit actually opens up Pasaana to a bit of speculation on our end: the image which describes Jannah and Finn’s fight while riding orbaks is set on a planet featuring a bit of greenery (although the foliage looks sort of dead or dried up). Might Pasaana not be completely covered in desert and instead have diverse environments? The first picture of Jannah, which was revealed at Celebration, also shows her standing in a similar environment as the Vanity fair picture:
If Pasaana does have deserts as well as patches of green, might it also have water? In that case, there’s another image from the first trailer that might also be set on the planet, the most talked about snippet of all:
Does the Resistance’s fight with the First Order on Pasaana lead them to another part of the planet, one where a shard of the Death Star wreckage is located? And is the resurgent Emperor playing everybody? Based on Vanity Fair’s description, it’s possible. It would be the first time a planet in a Star Wars movie features more than one environment, though, so take this with a grain of salt for now. Either way, Pasaana seems very significant.
The other planet, described as a “snow-dusted world” by Vanity Fair, is Kijimi, home to the Thieves’ Quarter where we’ll be introduced to Keri Russell’s character, a “masked scoundrel” named Zori Bliss. (She looks really cool!) It’s also likely the site of another battle since both the trailer and the Vanity Fair story tease Kylo Ren fighting the Knights of Ren. You may recall this shot from the trailer:
Vanity Fair confirmed that Kylo and his faction of knights will be at odds at some point in the movie, which means that the fight on Kijimi won’t be a clear cut First Order vs. Resistance battle. It looks like there will be three sides, with the First Order trying to eliminate both the Resistance and Knights of Ren in one fell swoop. We actually heard a rumor about the Knights of Ren to this effect a few months ago. Or maybe Kylo has had some sort of change of heart and is now helping the Resistance? (Lol no.)
As far as the Thieves’ Quarter itself, it sounds not unlike Maz Kanata’s castle in The Force Awakens, which was home to the scum of the galaxy before it was attacked by The First Order. Might Maz have set up shop on Kijimi? The Thieves’ Quarter also sounds like the perfect place to find another infamous scoundrel: Lando Calrissian. But how will our favorite space-faring con man talk his way out of the First Order’s clutches?
However the chips land on Pasaana and Kijimi, it looks like we’ll get at least two huge battle sequences out of this muli-planet adventure. We’ll know the story for sure when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres on Dec. 20.