We now know where The Rise of Skywalker fits in the Star Wars sequel trilogy timeline.
The events of Episode IX pick up one year after the previous installment, The Last Jedi, according to Vanity Fair. That's allowed the characters a significant amount of time to think over the events that ended the last film, namely the attack on the Resistance that saw them barely escaping from the nefarious First Order.
Vanity Fair also revealed how the characters from Episode VIII have changed in their year off-screen. Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), for example, has become a leader of the Resistance, a position in short supply with the way The Last Jedi ended.
"There has been a bit of shared history that you haven’t seen," Isaac said. "Whereas in the other films, Poe is this kind of lone wolf, now he’s really part of a group. They’re going out and going on missions and have a much more familiar dynamic now."
While Poe tries to wrestle with power, his friends Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) have their own internal battles they're fighting. Finn is pursuing his feelings for mechanic Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) after she nearly died to protect him at the Battle of Crait. As for Rey, she still has Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) on her mind, even though she rejected his offer to rule the galaxy together. While she has nearly completed her Jedi training by The Rise of Skywalker, it's clear there are still some hurdles she and the rest of the Resistance need to overcome.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives December 20.