D23: Rey wields red lightsaber in new Star Wars footage

D23: Rey wields red lightsaber in new Star Wars footage

Rey weilds red lightsaber in new Star Wars footage

Attendees visit the main hall at the D23 Expo, billed as the "largest Disney fan event in the world," on August 23, 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by AFP)

The stage is set for the ultimate showdown between Daisy Ridley's Rey and Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, promises the new footage of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", which was exclusively screened at the D23 Expo here.

Director JJ Abrams, who comes back to the franchise after 2015's "The Force Awakens", gave fans a glimpse of what to expect as he introduced cast members, debuted the poster and the footage "The Rise of Skywalker", which concludes the ongoing "Star Wars" trilogy.

The special footage, which has not yet been released online, took a nostalgic trip to the past nine movies before bringing Rey, Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega) and the Resistance in focus as they regroup after the events of 2017's "The Last Jedi" and fight the First Order and Kylo Ren.

In the final moments, Rey and Kylo Ren meet in the middle of a war-ravaged planet but what was greeted with almost a deafening sound from fans was the glimpse of Rey wielding a double-bladed red lightsaber.

In the "Star Wars" saga, red lightsaber are usually associated with the dark side of The Force and are typically wielded by Sith.

The official poster also promises a thrilling and action-packed final duel between Rey and Kylo Ren, while also teasing a mysterious figure in the backdrop, which resembles evil Sith Lord, Palpatine.

Introducing Abrams on the stage, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said she has known him since he was fifteen and had already started making movies.

Kennedy said having Abrams as the director has been great as he is a huge fan of the saga.

Joonas Suotamo and Kelly Marie Tran as franchise veterans Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams were also present at the event. Keri Russell and Naomi Ackie are the two new cast members.

Russell, who plays Zorii Bliss, a mysterious character, said being a part of "Star Wars" had made her cool in the eyes of her son.

"I have this amazing cast and this helmet which I actually love to wear and didn’t take it off for about the first two days. I found it incredibly, strangely empowering and exciting. I can't wait for you guys to meet her... She is very cool and a bit shady. She is kind of a criminal and sort of this old friend of Poe," Russell said describing her character.

The film will also bring back Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker and late star Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" opens in the US on December 20 this year.