After 40 years, the Skywalker saga has finally come to an end. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (opens in new tab) completes the trilogy of trilogies. While the debates out on whether the director J.J. Abrams landed the series successfully, there's no denying some of the cameos were magnificent. Below, we go into detail on all the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker cameos, revealing some famous faces you may have missed. But first...
SPOILER WARNING! Do not read on unless you have seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We are going into major spoiler territory.
Still here? Well then, you'll know that there are a whole load of cameos contained within Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Below, we dive into who all those Jedi voices belonged to, who all those Force Ghosts were, and who was potentially under those Stormtrooper helmets.
Unless you have a trained ear for the tone and intonation of several Jedi Masters, you may have missed out on some of the most crucial (and fan-service heavy) Rise of Skywalker cameos.
As Rey lies on the floor, having been beaten by the Emperor, she reaches out to the Jedi to be with her. As the camera zooms into space, we hear voices. Here's a list of every Jedi voice we hear, plus what they say.
– Obi-Wan Kenobi (both Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness): "These are your final steps, Rey. Rise and take them... Rey... Rise."
– Anakin Skywalker: "Rey... Bring back the balance, Rey, as I did... The Force surrounds you, Rey... Let it lift you."
– Ahsoka Tano, from Clone Wars animated movie and series: "Rey"
– Kanan Jarrus, from Rebels TV series: "Rey... In the heart of a Jedi lies their strength."
– Luminara Unduli, seen in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, speaking role in Clone Wars TV series: "The light. Find the light, Rey."
– Qui-Gon Jinn: "Every Jedi who ever lived, lives in you... We stand behind you, Rey... Rise."
– Aayla Secura, seen in Revenge of the Sith, main role in The Clone Wars: "Let it guide you."
– Mace Windu: "Feel the Force flowing through you, Rey."
– Adi Gallia, seen in Phantom Menace, main role in The Clone Wars: "Rise, Rey."
– Yoda: "Rise in the Force, Rey."
– Luke Skywalker: "Rey, the Force will be with you. Always."
It wasn’t quite blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, but Supreme Leader Snoke got only a brief farewell in Rise of Skywalker. In the opening minutes of the movie, we learn that Palpatine created Snoke, and you can a large vat containing a bunch of Snoke clones. These clones were apparently grown on the Sith planet Exogel.
After his lightsaber duel with Rey on the Darth Star II wreckage, Kylo is comforted by the Force Ghost of galaxy's scruffiest nerf-herder, Han Solo. Harrison Ford's return is a genuine gasp-out-loud moment, and his sweet speech is what turns Kylo Ren back to Ben Skywalker. However, Solo, despite potentially being Force-sensitive (confirmed in the comics), does not appear as a Force ghost, but simply as a figment of Kylo's memory.
Rey attempts to destroy the Sith Wayfinder but is stopped from doing so by none other than Luke Skywalker as a Force Ghost, who chides the young Jedi for her actions. He eventually imparts some words of wisdom, saying that Rey needs to face her destiny – and Palpatine.
Dennis Lawson's Rebel fighter pilot is still blasting away 42 years later. In The Rise of Skywalker, we briefly see him helping to take down the Emperor's Star Destroyer army during the battle of Exogel. The Holby City actor even gets a brief line during all the explosions as well, saying he's happy to fight alongside Lando once more.
Admiral Ackbar's Son
As the Resistance prepares for one last attack on the Final Order, a very fishy looking guy speaks out. Admiral Ackbar, of course, died during The Last Jedi. This character is actually his son, who was first seen in Star Wars: Allegiance. The character is voiced by The Rise of Skywalker scriptwriter Chris Terrio.
Cutesy Ewok Wicket (again played by Warwick Davis) makes a brief appearance during the final montage of celebration scenes. He can be seen on Endor flanked by two Ewoks looking out at the fallen Star Destroyer.
J.J. Abrams as D-O
Cone-headed droid D-O is introduced in the first hour of the film. Previously deactivated on the ship found in the middle of Pasaana, his jittery ramblings make him a perfect foil for comic relief throughout. But doesn’t he sound familiar? According to the credits, he was voiced by none other than Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams.
The bird-like creatures introduced as inhabitants of Ahch-To/Chewie’s favourite mid-morning snack in Star Wars: The Last Jedi make a quick return in The Rise of Skywalker. They’re seen looking on as Luke raises the X-Wing from the sea.
Rey’s parents were previously only shown flying away off-screen during Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens. Here, we find out what they actually look like as they are seen during flashbacks being hunted down by the First Order. Interestingly enough, Rey’s mother is played by Killing Eve star Jodie Comer, while her dear dad (who's Kylo confirms was a Palpatine) is portrayed by Billy Howle, best known for his roles in Dunkirk and On Chesil Beach.
Actor Greg Grunberg is a favourite of J.J. Abrams, having appeared in Lost, Star Trek Beyond, and The Force Awakens. He reprises his Star Wars role as Snap Wexley, and even gets one of the funniest moments of the whole movie, telling General Leia Organa some bad news and being ordered to be more upbeat in his future delivery.
Babu Frik – Shirely Henderson
While new GOAT Babu is hardly a cameo – the little guy's a pretty big plot point in the film's mid-section – the actor behind the voice might surprise you. Shirely Henderson is credited for Babu Frik, and you'll recognise her as Harry Potter's Moaning Myrtle, as well as Gail from Trainspotting.
Droid shop guy – John Williams
When the gang goes looking for Babu Frik, they enter his workshop via what looks like a club. The old guy shaking his head disapprovingly in the background is long-time Star Wars composer John Williams, who has scored every main-saga Star Wars instalment. A nice nod to a man responsible for arguably the most iconic scores of all time.
Lin-Manuel Miranda – A random rebel
He’s not got a name, or even a line. Instead, Lin-Manuel Miranda plays random Rebel at the end of the film who's celebrating the team's victory. He wasn’t really a secret either, having been clearly identified in an early teaser image when it was announced that he had written some music for one of the planets.
Ed Sheeran – Stormtrooper
Underneath one of those Stormtrooper helmets is internationally renown singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran... Wait, what? According to a pre-release trailer, Sheeran was on set to film a cameo. Where in the film remains a mystery, though no doubt we'll know soon enough.
So that's that! Every Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker cameo explained. For more on the movie, check out all the best Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Easter Eggs (opens in new tab) and references, as well as the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ending explained (opens in new tab).