The end is near as we get closer and closer to the premiere of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker in December. The ninth film will bring to a close the epic “Skywalker saga”, which began in 1977 with George Lucas‘ Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Now, more than 40 years later, this one tale which has dominated pop culture is about to wrap up.
For Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams, wrapping up this story has been a daunting process. Abrams recently opened up to Entertainment Weekly about the end of Rise of Skywalker (“Endings are the thing that scare me the most”) and what this final chapter means to the overall Skywalker saga.
“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,” Abrams tells EW. “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 also detailed to EW that he and Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio wanted to leave some room for inspiration to strike and find a way to honor Lucas’ vision of three three-act plays telling this story.
“While there were many things that were planned for and discussed — George Lucas himself said when he created this he saw it as three, three-act plays — that doesn’t mean there isn’t discovery, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that come up that make you realize, ‘Oh, here’s an opportunity.'”
Despite leaving room for inspiration to strike, Abrams and Terrio understood the importance of tying up as many narrative threads as possible to avoid any feelings of dissatisfaction:
“It also doesn’t mean that there’s a list of payoffs that we have to do because of setups. But we also were very much aware this is the end of the trilogy and it needs to satisfy. We went into this thing knowing it has to be an ending. We’re not screwing around.”
It’s no mean feat to try and wrap up 40-plus years of story that have been embraced so thoroughly and passionately by fans over the years. There is still so much more that will have to be covered in Rise of Skywalker, including what fate has in story for this final trilogy’s protagonists Rey, Poe, and Finn (played by Ridley, Isaac, and Boyega, respectively) as well as the main antagonist, Kylo Ren (Driver). But if anyone can thread the proverbial needle, surely it’s J.J. Abrams.
Find out the latest on Rise of Skywalker here. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20.