- Author Existence Failure: The death of Carrie Fisher in late 2016 caused problems with the original plans for this movie to focus on Leia, much like The Force Awakens focused on Han and The Last Jedi focused on Luke. When he was brought on board to direct, J. J. Abrams decided to repurpose unused footage of Leia from The Force Awakens, and wrote Leia's scenes in the movie around what was available.
- Demand Overload: After the announcement trailer went live, Twitter went down for a minute or two due to the overload of fan excitement.
- Dyeing for Your Art: The 81-year-old Billy Dee Williams went through a strenuous workout routine to get back into shape for the film. It was actually reports about it that first stirred excitement that Lando might be in the film, months before it was officially confirmed.
- I Knew It!: In 2012, a fan managed to guess this movie's title and that the Emperor would return, although they were speculating about the recently-announced Episode VII at the time. Read here.
- Lying Creator: After the release of The Force Awakens, Ian McDiarmid gave an interview in which he said that Palpatine was 100% dead and that he wouldn't be returning. At Celebration Chicago, not only was it revealed that Palpatine would be returning in this movie, but that the Emperor's return in Episode IX had been the plan from the beginning, and that McDiarmid had known about it for some time, likely including before he gave this interview.
- Prop Recycling: As seen here, one of the Knights of Ren is carrying a weapon first seen on Dryden Vos' ship in Solo.
- Reality Subtext: The teaser has a voiceover of Luke saying that "I will always be with you," and "No one is ever really gone," while Rey hugs Leia, referencing the passing of Carrie Fisher in 2016.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Rey/Daisy's hairstyle and outfit are similar to her original look in The Force Awakens due to her scenes with Leia/Carrie being mixed with archival/unused footage of her and Leia/Carrie from there.
- Refitted for Sequel: Some concepts for Rey's homeworld in The Force Awakens included an ocean world and/or a world riddled with debris from one of the Death Stars, which we see reused in this film. In addition, Rey can be seen holding what appears to be a breathing tank for diving, which was also a part of the scrapped ocean world concept.
- Release Date Change: The film was moved from a Summer 2019 release to December 20, 2019 in order to accommodate the change of director. Box office pundits noted it made sense to do so, as the previous Disney-produced Star Wars films benefitted greatly from the Christmas season box office.
- Role Reprisal:
- Ian McDiarmid reprises his role as Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious for the first time on-screen since Revenge of the Sith, which also follows his voice role in Star Wars Rebels.
- Billy Dee Williams returns as Lando Calrissian after being absent from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Similar to Palpatine, this marks his first big screen appearance as the character since Return of the Jedi. Prior to this, he has lent his voice to the character in some voice-over projects such as Star Wars Rebels.
- Troubled Production: The Rise of Skywalker hit several snags long before it started filming. Carrie Fisher, who reportedly had a much larger role as Leia than the prior two films, died in December 2016, requiring the script to be heavily rewritten.note In September 2017, director Colin Trevorrow and writer Jack Thorne left the project only a few months before filming was set to begin. Rian Johnson was first asked to stay on after completing The Last Jedi, but turned down the offer. J. J. Abrams later signed on as director and the release date was pushed back from a Summer 2019 release to December 20, 2019.
- What Could Have Been: Colin Trevorrow was originally going to direct the film, but left under vaguely explained Creative Differences.
Trivia / The Rise of Skywalker