Cameos In Rise Of Skywalker That Completely Surprised Us


Some of The Rise of Skywalker’s biggest surprises
happen in a lightspeed flash. That’s why we’re here to run down the biggest
surprise cameos in the movie, from original trilogy sidekicks to behind-the-camera architects. “The dead speak!” proclaims The Rise of Skywalker’s
opening crawl, making it clear as soon as possible that things are about to get weird. And weird they do indeed get, as we find Kylo
Ren arriving at the planet Exegol in response to a mysterious broadcast from the (somehow
alive) Sith Lord and Emperor Sheev Palpatine, a broadcast heard on planet Earth exclusively
as a Fortnite cross-promotion… “At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected.” Ren finds Palpatine, but that’s no surprise,
we’ve known since the movie’s first trailer that he’d be back. More unexpected are the cameos from other
past antagonists, particularly because of the unusual form they take. When Palpatine introduces himself as “every
voice you’ve ever heard inside your head,” his voice shapeshifts briefly into that of
Supreme Leader Snoke, and then that of Darth Vader. Sure enough, both Andy Serkis and James Earl
Jones lend their menacing pipes to the illusion. Snoke even appears a moment later in the flesh,
nothing but the flesh, actually, with parts of seemingly rejected clone bodies floating
in a tank like a savory Snoke stew. It’s surprising to see Harrison Ford in Rise
of Skywalker for a few reasons. Sure, there’s the fact that non-Jedi have
never appeared as “Force Ghosts” in the movies before, an issue the film skirts by presenting
Han Solo as a figment of his wayward son’s memory, rather than an actual specter. There’s also Ford’s infamous annoyance with
the legacy of Star Wars. He unsuccessfully campaigned to get Solo killed
off in Return of the Jedi and will take great pleasure in telling you he doesn’t care who
shot first. It was surprising enough when it was first
announced that he would star in The Force Awakens, and downright shocking to see him
pop up again in Rise of Skywalker. But Ford seems to enjoy working with Adam
Driver, and we can guess he probably liked the idea of paying tribute to Carrie Fisher. That’s why it’s easy to overlook what could’ve
been eye-roll-worthy fan service. From the moment we knew that The Rise of Skywalker
would revisit the Endor system, we had to wonder if we’d be seeing some Ewoks. Sadly, the wreckage of the second Death Star
isn’t actually on the same forest moon we visited in Return of the Jedi, but on Endor’s
“ocean moon.” The heroes’ big knife chase brings them into
contact with their new friend Jannah and her very good space horses, but sadly, the adventure
remains devoid of killer bears. That is, at least, until the movie’s grand
finale. As the Final Order fleet falls, a montage
much like the one added to the “Special Edition” of Return of the Jedi brings us to a few planets
to witness the galactic victory celebration. That’s when we’re reintroduced to Wicket,
played once again by Star Wars mainstay Warwick Davis, who was just 11 years old the first
time he got zipped up into a teddy bear costume for Episode 6. Alongside him is Wicket’s son, Pommet, played
by Warwick’s real-life son, Harrison. Wedge Antilles is something of a Star Wars
good luck charm. Having survived all three major battles of
the original trilogy, he was always there when Luke and the Rebel Alliance needed him,
even if he never took up a lot of screentime. The character would go on to play a major
role in plenty of Expanded Universe material, endearing him to a generation of superfans. It was surprising, then, that Wedge didn’t
make an appearance in The Force Awakens. At the time, actor Denis Lawson was quoted
as saying he turned down an offer to appear because it would have, quote, “bored” him. The actor later backtracked these comments,
claiming that he would have accepted the role if not for scheduling conflicts. Whatever the case, he’s there for a brief
moment in Rise of Skywalker’s climactic space battle, manning a gun turret on the Millennium
Falcon. It’s Star Wars tradition for behind-the-scenes
crewmembers to make blink-and-you’ll-miss-them on screen cameos. The Rise of Skywalker continues this tradition
of giving incidental background roles to hardworking creative types. Director J.J. Abrams provides the stuttering
voice of skittish droid D-O, while his Episode 9 co-writer Chris Terrio can be heard as Aftab
Ackbar, the squidlike son of the beloved admiral who perished during the events of The Last
Jedi. Most significantly, composer John Williams
can briefly be seen as Oma Tres, the bartender at the Kijimi dive where our heroes find Babu
Frik. As The Rise of Skywalker begins, we learn
that Rey has been continuing her Jedi training under Leia, focusing specifically on the effort
to commune with the spirits of past Jedi. Communication through the Force has been a
specialty of Leia’s ever since The Empire Strikes Back, before she was even aware of
her own abilities. Still, despite her training, Rey remains frustrated
and unable to hear any voices…until her most desperate moment during the film’s climax,
as she lies nearly defeated at the feet of Palpatine. That’s when generations of Jedi finally talk
back, offering her encouragement and support. Some, like Yoda, Anakin, Mace Windu, Obi-Wan
Kenobi, and Qui-Gonn Jinn, are pretty obvious, but in the chaos of the big final battle it
was probably hard to make all those voice cameos out. Here’s a quick rundown of the more obscure
“Voices of Jedi Past” featured in this sequence: Adi Gallia first appeared in The Phantom Menace,
but most fans know her best from the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. Similarly, Luminara Unduli and Aayla Secura
first appeared in Attack of the Clones, but are both best known from Clone Wars. Ahsoka Tano is also from Clone Wars, but The
Rise of Skywalker is the character’s live-action debut, technically, even if we only hear her
voice. Same goes for Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars
Rebels, meaning former teen heartthrob Freddie Prinze Jr., or his voice, at least, is in
The Rise of Skywalker. Talk about a surprising cameo… “What was that?” “I was busy.” “Yeah, busy wigging.” “Excuse me, I did not wig.” “There was major wiggage.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about Star Wars
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