J. J. Abrams Reveals Why He Returned to the Death Star for ‘Rise of Skywalker’

     November 19, 2019

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker comes to theatres in a month. In just one month, a decades, generation-spanning story will come to a conclusion. Just. One. Month. Exciting, innit? To celebrate the just one month-ness of it all, Entertainment Weekly interviewed several key cast and crew members of the space epic, including returning co-writer/director J. J. Abrams, who previously helmed The Force Awakens. And Abrams revealed why the new film is returning to one of Star Wars‘ biggest landmarks of all.

The Death Star. A big ol’ spaceship, the size of a star, that brings death to all those in its wake. Luke Skywalker led a battalion of Rebel Alliance pilots to blow up the dang Death Star in A New Hope, the very first Star Wars film. So why is Abrams making his characters return to the scene of the crime? He explained it quite eloquently:

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Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

It felt like going into the haunted house, the place that you have to go to. This is a story of people having to grapple with the burden the prior generation dumps on those that follow. So literally returning to this wreck of the past and having to fight it out felt like an obvious metaphor, but also felt incredibly cinematic.

I, for one, find this to be a perfect move. One of the things I loved the most about The Force Awakens was its giddy playfulness regarding past iconography and mythologies; one of the things I loved the most about The Last Jedi was its necessarily irreverent destruction of past iconography and mythologies. I’m also a huge sucker for any blockbuster that’s interested in metaphorically and literally exhuming the traumas of the past among its explosions and laser sword fights. I guess what I’m saying is: The Rise of Skywalker is an exciting sounding motion picture.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theatres December 20, 2019. For more on the anticipated film, here’s how you can see it early. Plus, take a look at the behind-the-scenes screenwriting drama. And finally, if you want to live in The Rise of Skywalker, here’s the closest thing you’ve got.

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