A new look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was revealed to those in attendance at D23 today, and while it’s yet to leak online, we know that it featured the return of one of the most important relics in the saga: the helmet of Darth Vader.
The disfigured mask of Anakin Skywalker was memorably featured briefly in The Force Awakens, with Kylo Ren revealed to treat the helmet with reverence as he swore to finish what his grandfather started. As Ren moved away from his past though, even destroying his own helmet in The Last Jedi, Vader’s mask didn’t appear. Did Ren destroy it, too, then? Well, no, it seems not, as the Rise of Skywalker footage shown at D23 revealed that it survived.
The 10-second clip, which featured during the Disney Legends panel, depicts the Force user formally known as Ben Solo opening up a container which Vader’s helmet has been kept inside. The footage then cuts to various shots of our heroes. Notably, Rey’s seen speaking to Finn, telling him: “It’s too dangerous, I have to go alone.” This seems to confirm reports that the plot will see Rey undertaking a mission of her own while Finn and Poe occupy themselves elsewhere.
With the first trailer confirming the return of Emperor Palpatine, fans are expecting Vader to return in the flesh – well, at least, the Force – in Rise of Skywalker as well. Either in his iconic suit of armor or maybe even as Anakin, with Hayden Christensen rumored to be reprising his role from the Prequel Trilogy. J.J. Abrams has revealed that he wants Episode IX to wrap up the entire nine-movie storyline, so an appearance from its most significant character would certainly make sense.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th and it’s a good bet that more footage will come from D23 this weekend, so stay tuned.