A Guide Of Important Characters To Remember in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

By now, there have been weeks of coverage on Star Wars’ end-of-an-era movie, The Rise of Skywalker. It brings back the sequel trilogy’s favorite characters for a final showdown against the First Order and Emperor Palpatine. Whatever he has planned has been in the works for a while, and it involves Rey and Kylo Ren. 

There are decades-worth of information that you might need going into the movie this weekend, so here’s quick rundown of the characters in the film; where they stand and what part they play in The Rise of Skywalker, without spoilers. 

The characters of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' pose at the Canadian premiere for the film.
The characters of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ at the Canadian premiere for the film | GP Images/Getty Images for Disney Studios

Rey and Kylo Ren

At the end of The Last Jedi, Rey had just saved what was left of the Resistance in the Millennium Falcon. Kylo Ren tried to kill his mother, Leia and his uncle Luke. He was furious that Rey and the Resistance got away, and he’s just as furious as a Sith. 

Writer Chris Terrio told Empire magazine that the question of “Who is Rey?” still permeates this story, even though Kylo Ren supposedly gave that away in The Last Jedi. Fans don’t think he gave Rey the whole truth, and there are major theories that Rey is somehow connected to Palpatine.

On the flip side, Adam Driver doesn’t see redemption in the future for Kylo Ren. “[Kylo Ren] has a different identity, a different definition of what redemption is,” Driver told Entertainment Weekly. “He’s already been redeemed in his story. I don’t think there is a thought of redemption. He doesn’t have an outside lens of the events, you know — you know what I mean? That’s more of an outsider’s view of his world.” An interesting view, but one that The Rise of Skywalker might make clear.


After The Last Jedi, Leia is with the remaining Resistance fighters in the Falcon and Rey tells her about Luke dying, although she had already felt as much. Leia assures Rey that they have all they need to rebuild the Resistance, with a plan on the horizon. 

David Prowse and Carrie Fisher on the set of 'Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.'
David Prowse and Carrie Fisher on the set of ‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope’ | Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Before her passing in 2016, Carrie Fisher’s character was supposed to be the center of this final film, according to her daughter Billie Lourd. Director J.J. Abrams used unseen footage of Carrie as Leia in The Rise of Skywalker to include her in the film. “Saying Leia had passed away, or that she was off somewhere else, felt like a cheat,” Abrams told Entertainment Weekly. 

Poe Dameron, Finn, and Rose Tico

These important rebels are all alive, while Rose is badly hurt. After coming back from their mission on Canto Bight, Finn and Rose were part of a fleet meant to take out the canon trying to destroy the rebels’ hideout. Finn went to sacrifice himself when Rose saved him instead and she’ll likely make a recovery. This is the first time Poe, Finn, and Rey will all work together in the sequel trilogies. “I think it really captures the spirit of the original trilogy,” Isaac told Entertainment Weekly.

“They’re trying to put bandaids on this leaking ship of the Resistance,” Isaac also said about where the team is at, at the start of The Rise of Skywalker. And John Boyega said to expect “a side of Finn we haven’t seen” yet to come out.


Starting as Chancellor by the end of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Palpatine fooled the Jedi Order and hid his Sith ways until Revenge of the Sith. He met his demise in Return of the Jedi, or so fans thought. It was a surprise to hear his insidiously recognizable laugh in the very first trailer for Episode IX, but exciting nonetheless. 

There are many theories about how Palpatine plays a part in The Rise of Skywalker, or who he’s related to, but you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out.

Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams, is coming back. And new characters are going to be introduced, like Jannah, a Resistance ally played by Naomi Ackie, and Zorri Bliss, a criminal, old friend of Poe’s played by Keri Russell. You can expect introductions and explanations as to why they’re in Episode IX in the film. 

Hopefully, this helps keep the cast of characters simple and jogs your memory on where they last left off in The Last Jedi. May the force be with you.