'Rise of Skywalker' cheat sheet: who's who in the 'Star Wars' galaxy

A brief refresher on the space epic's main heroes and villains

20 December 2019 - 00:00 By AFP Relaxnews
R2-D2 (left) and C-3PO at the world premiere of Disney's 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
R2-D2 (left) and C-3PO at the world premiere of Disney's 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker' at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
Image: Valerie Macon/AFP

The Star Wars trilogy of trilogies draws to a close with the release of The Rise of Skywalker on Friday.

This much-anticipated film draws a line under the nine movies in the Skywalker saga:

  • The prequel trilogy: The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • The original trilogy: A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • The sequel trilogy: The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

It's also packed with a diverse cast of characters — some more memorable than others. Here is a brief refresher on the space epic's main heroes and villains:


Luke Skywalker: Orphaned farm boy who became the greatest Jedi in the galaxy. Shunned the force and became a hermit after his efforts to train new Jedis ended in disaster. Gave his life to help the Resistance escape at the end of 2017's The Last Jedi.

Leia Organa AKA Princess Leia: Once a princess and Rebel Alliance leader, she is the sister of Luke Skywalker and mother of the villainous Kylo Ren. Now a general and head of the Resistance.

Han Solo: A smuggler who joined the Rebel Alliance with his trusty spaceship, the Millennium Falcon. Returned in 2015's The Force Awakens, now estranged from Leia, only to be murdered by their son.

Chewbacca: A gentle but powerful furry Wookiee who was Han Solo's co-pilot and partner-in-crime.

Darth Vader: Masked villain and one of the most recognisable figures in cinema history. Originally known as Anakin Skywalker, he was father to Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Died saving his son from the Emperor in Return of the Jedi (1983).

WATCH | The trailer for 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'

Lando Calrissian: A playboy gambler who initially betrayed his friend Han Solo before coming to the aid of the Rebel Alliance, eventually becoming a general.

C-3PO: Constantly flustered droid programmed for etiquette and protocol, fluent in six million languages, and earnest foil to his mischievous mechanical pal R2-D2.

R2-D2: Resourceful and eccentric droid known for his whistles and beeps.

Emperor Palpatine: Vader's master, who ruled the evil Empire before he was seemingly killed by his trusted servant. But his voice appears in trailers for Rise of Skywalker ...


Rey: A scavenger who grew up on a spaceship graveyard on the planet Jakku, but is powerful with the Force. Speculation about her past has raged since she first appeared in The Force Awakens although she is coaxed into admitting in The Last Jedi that, far from being of royal lineage, her parents were insignificant "nobodies."

Finn: A renegade stormtrooper who, shocked by the First Order's cruelty, defected to become a soldier for the Resistance, where he befriended Rey.

Poe Dameron: Describes himself as "the best freaking pilot in the galaxy." Also joined the Resistance, but frequently disobeys Leia's orders and led a failed mutiny before redeeming himself in The Last Jedi.

Kylo Ren: Formerly known as Ben Solo, the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo turned to the dark side after his Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, fearful of his power, momentarily raised his lightsaber as if preparing to strike him. Now a masked villain with a three-blade lightsaber who resembles his grandfather Darth Vader.

Supreme Leader Snoke: Sinister capofamiglia of the First Order who was powerful with the dark side of the Force, but struck down by his apprentice in The Last Jedi.

BB-8: Small, spherical droid with a cheeky personality and skillset similar to R2-D2's.

Rose Tico: a Resistance mechanic who initially calls out Finn as a deserter (of sorts), but befriends him and his allies in The Last Jedi.