Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

In this final chapter of the Skywalker series, the Resistance faces off with the First Order for the last time.        

  • Starring: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley
  • Director(s): JJ Abrams
  • Producer(s): JJ Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan
  • Screenwriter(s): Chris Terrio, JJ Abrams, Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow
  • Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
  • Animal Coordinator: Devils Horsemen
  • Release Date: Friday, December 20, 2019

Featured Animal Action

All horseback riders were stunt riders or experienced actors who were skilled at riding, mounting and dismounting. All running/galloping scenes were well choreographed, and actors used caution while on and near animals. The horse(s) rearing was a trained behavior.

In the scene when the group of people ride horses up a hill on horses, which are dressed like beasts, greens screens blocked out parts of the background. Once on set, the horses were fitted with costume suits. Suits were made from stretch woven material with hair sewn into it. The hair was pinned back from the horses’ faces. The suit was wrapped round the horses legs above the fetlock and attached using Velcro.

On action, the horses were ridden at a canter, down a slight slope towards the cameras.

In the scene where the same group of soldiers ride on ship, while other soldiers shoot at them, the horses were prepared and costumed in a large secure heated tent with a sand floor. The horses were ridden to set by the riders in costume and accompanied by grooms. The set was rubber where the horses were to run. A rubber tracker was put over the walkway from the arm tent to the set to prevent slipping and to give any cables protection. The riders were experienced trick riders who were familiar with the horses.

All horses wore ear plugs on set which were removed when their tack was taken off.

The grooms carried the plastic weapons for the riders while resetting. The horses had time and training to acclimate them to the sounds,explosions and sights on the set.

All horses were shod with metal shoes and the set floor has been prepared with a rubber flooring to provide grip for the horses. The explosions, sparks and fires were set off at the back of the set, always at least 80ft away from the horse route. On action, the horses were ridden forward at a canter for 250ft, while the riders pretended to fire their guns. Tracking vehicle carrying crane camera and a hand held camera travelling parallel to horses, 25ft away.