If you’re trying to learn about exoplanetology IRL, Star Wars will confuse you, and that’s because most planets in that faraway galaxy are single-biome planets. You’ve got desert planets (Tatooine), snow planets (Hoth), jungle moons (Yavin 4), forest moons (Endor), water planets (Kamino), and gambling planets where people can get thrown in jail for parking on the beach. And, based on what we know about The Rise of Skywalker, the final Star Wars movie will also (probably) visit similar all-or-nothing planets.
But what do we know about the new planets and interstellar destinations in The Rise of Skywalker? In some ways, what we don’t know is actually more interesting. Here are five planets that will appear in some way, shape, or form in Star Wars: Episode IX, complete with everything known about these planets to date. And yeah, you can bet we’re talking about single-climate planets and moons here.
Mild spoilers and speculation for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.
5. Desert Planet Pasaana Is Not Tatooine (and Not Jakku, Either!)
In the one and only trailer that’s been released for The Rise of Skywalker (so far), we see Rey in action on a desert planet that many of us assumed was Tatooine, or maybe her “home” planet of Jakku. Turns out, both these assumptions were wrong. The planet is called Pasaana, and it’s a new planet supposedly located at the far reaches of the galaxy. (Maybe the Outer Rim, maybe not.) It also seems like Pasaana is — just like Tatooine and Jakku — a desert planet. All the scenes for this planet were filmed in the desert of Jordan in real life. This planet is also the place where new aliens called the Aki-Aki like to hang out.
Is all this legit? Is J.J. Abrams really ending Star Wars on a third desert planet that isn’t Tatooine? While it’s possible that the word “Pasaana” is a lie and this planet really is Tatooine or Jakku, the presence of the Aki-Aki really makes it seem like this is a totally new planet. Albeit, one that is very, very familiar.
4. Kijimi: A Cross Between Jedha, Nar Shaddaa, and Hoth?
One mysterious planet in The Rise of Skywalker has been identified (as per Vanity Fair) as Kijimi. This planet is described as snow-dusted and rocky and also houses an area called the Thieves’ Quarter, which is apparently where the bounty hunter-ish character Zorri Bliss (Kerri Russell) hangs out.
A rocky, cold planet is very similar to the moon Jedha in Rogue One, but the snow will obviously remind everyone of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back. However, the idea of a planet (or part of a planet) totally controlled by criminals has a Star Wars precedent with the moon Nar Shaddaa, which orbits the homeworld of the Hutts, Nal Hutta. Though a lot of Nar Shaddaa’s origins are now part of Legends canon, it was called the “Smuggler’s Moon” in Dark Empire, which sounds a lot like the Thieves’ Quarter, from a certain point of view. Also, in the trailer, it looks likely this is the planet the A-wing flies over, but that’s also not totally clear yet.
3. “The Jungle Planet” (Endor or Yavin 4?)
Very obviously, Rey, Poe, and Finn all seem to hit up a “jungle planet” that a lot of fans think is Yavin 4 from A New Hope and Rogue One. The reason why? The trailer very clearly shows what seems to be wreckage from the original Death Star. But, this planet could also very easily be Endor, too. The point is, there’s been no confirmation that either Endor or Yavin 4 (both moons!) are in the movie. Meaning, the Death Star “wreckage” could be something else entirely and maybe not wreckage at all.
2. The Rey and Leia Hug Planet
While it’s easy to assume the planet where Rey and Leia have a hug in the trailer is the same as the “jungle planet,” that’s kind of a big assumption. There are so many options as to where this planet could be — a new base for the Resistance, a random planet we’ve never heard of, or, maybe, a flashback on the planet D’Qar, which is where the Resistance base was in The Force Awakens and at the very beginning of The Last Jedi.
1. Luke’s Burning Planet
In the beautiful photos from Annie Leibovitz for the Vanity Fair preview issue about The Rise of Skywalker, one provocative image of Luke Skywalker shows the Jedi master standing with R2-D2 seemingly amid flames. Mark Hamill has since confirmed that Luke will appear as a “Force ghost” in The Rise of Skywalker, which makes this image suggestive of a flashback. We don’t actually know where Luke built his failed Jedi school, but in the old Legends canon, it was on Yavin 4, which is weird since Yavin 4 is rumored to return as the “jungle planet.”
Now, these things are almost certainly not the same planets at this point in canon, but could The Rise of Skywalker give us another flashback to what happened at Luke’s doomed Jedi school? And if so, will that establish where in the galaxy that school was briefly housed? One compelling reason why a flashback could be central to The Rise of Skywalker is connected to the fact that we don’t know how old Ben Solo was when he started training with Luke. If Luke followed the rules of the old-school Jedi from the prequels, that would mean he started training Ben when he was just a little kid, which would give a lot of material for a flashback and necessitate we know way more about the planet where it all happened.
The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.