Bringing something like the Star Wars saga to an end after more than four decades of storytelling is not an easy task. But, writer and director JJ Abrams says that the ninth and final film The Rise of Skywalker will close things out in a “cohesive” way that is both “emotional and meaningful.”
According to Entertainment Weekly, Abrams says that endings are what scare him the most, but he went into the production knowing that this had to be the end, and they weren’t “screwing around.”
The Rise of Skywalker will not only bring the Disney-produced trilogy to an end that began in 2015 with The Force Awakens and then continued with 2017’s The Last Jedi, but it will also wrap up George Lucas’ six films that began with 1977’s A New Hope.
“This is about bringing this thing to a close in a way that is emotional and meaningful and also satisfying in terms of actually answering [as many] questions as possible,” explained Abrams. “So if years from now, someone’s watching these movies, all nine of them, they’re watching a story that is as cohesive as possible.”
Abrams explained that many things in the film “were planned for and discussed,” and he acknowledged that Lucas described the saga from the beginning as “three, three-act plays.” However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t discovery and things that come up that make you realize “Oh, here’s an opportunity.”
Abrams – who also directed The Force Awakens – said he was very aware of the payoffs he needed to include in the script because of setups in previous films, and knew that he had to bring the Disney trilogy to a satisfying end and answer all of fans’ biggest questions.
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In addition to bringing in new characters like Keri Russell’s Zorri Bliss and Naomi Ackie’s Jannah, the film will also see the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian – who hasn’t appeared in the Star Wars saga since 1983’s Return of the Jedi – and Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine.
The movie will also feature unused footage of the beloved Princess Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens nationwide on December 20th.