Not only did the first Star Wars: Episode 9 trailer reveal the movie’s title, it had another surprise up its sleeve.

After it confirmed the title as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we heard the unmistakeable laugh of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). According to Kathleen Kennedy, the return of the iconic villain has been planned all along.

“This has been in the blueprint for a long time. Yeah, we had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but yes, it’s always [been in the works],” she told Yahoo! Entertainment.

How that return will happen remains to be seen, but we do at least know a bit about why the movie is called The Rise of Skywalker.

“The title feels like it’s the right title for this movie. I know it’s provocative and asks a bunch of questions, but I think when you see the movie, you’ll see how it’s intended and what it means,” explained director JJ Abrams.

“But in the flow of titles, this movie had a very weird responsibility. It had to be the end of not just three movies, but nine movies, and the idea of having to incorporate the stories that have come before, strangely, is the story of the movie.”

We also know that the movie won’t follow directly on from the end of The Last Jedi, although Abrams wouldn’t say exactly how long the time jump is.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released in UK cinemas on December 19 and US cinemas on December 20.

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