Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will introduce several new and fascinating characters, and perhaps none is more mysterious than Naomi Ackie’s Jannah. The actor recently shed some light on what Jannah will be up to, and it turns out she’ll play a bigger role in Episode IX than we previously thought.
A few months ago, a Reddit theory speculated about Finn and Jannah’s roles in The Rise of Skywalker. Essentially, this theory suggested that Finn would risk returning to the First Order’s compound to facilitate the escape of several Storm Troopers. He would then lead the defected Storm Troopers to Jannah. Together, they’d fight the First Order.
However, Ackie recently shared some new information about Jannah that suggests that theory won’t pan out in the movie. In an interview with Total Film (via Games Radar), Ackie suggests her character is already working for the Resistance during The Rise of Skywalker. It’s clear that she’ll play a role helping our heroes take down the First Order. Ackie elaborates that Jannah “shows up at the right time,” which “might be helpful when it comes to the big conclusion”. This leads us to believe that Jannah will play a key role in the battle against Emperor Palpatine.
Based on images from the Rise of Skywalker cover story from Vanity Fair back in the spring, we suspected Jannah and Finn already knew each other. Since Finn has presumably been a Storm Trooper since childhood, we can probably rule out the possibility that they’ve known each other a long time. Jannah is obviously a warrior, so it’s possible the Resistance calls upon her precisely because of certain unique combat skills she possesses.
Ackie also told Total Film she spent seven months training with horses, which leads us to assume that the image of her and Finn riding Orbaks comes from a pivotal battle in Episode IX. Her character’s ability to shoot arrows from a standing position while riding gives off some major Dothraki vibes. (If you’re unfamiliar, the Dothraki are a nomadic tribe in Game of Thrones who travel and fight on horseback.)
Ackie says her character has been in training for a long time, though the actor doesn’t elaborate on this any further. Jannah doesn’t appear to have any high-tech weaponry, so perhaps there’s a mystical element to her character we haven’t yet heard about. She may be Force-sensitive, or belong to some other kind of mystic tradition that may allow her to sense Palpatine’s resurrection before the other members of Resistance are aware of it. If Jannah was on alert for Palpatine’s return, it would definitely explain why she’s has been training so hard for so long.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20, 2019.