Ever since its formal announcement, Lucasfilm has described Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as not just the ending to the new generation of Star Wars films that began with The Force Awakens but the entire Skywalker Saga, including the classic and prequel trilogies.
With J.J. Abrams returning to direct and co-write the upcoming film after previously directing and co-writing The Force Awakens, the prolific filmmaker consciously sought to craft a movie that would satisfyingly conclude plot threads from all eight previous main installments of the space opera franchise.
"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 said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "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.”
Teasing the final confrontation between the Resistance and the First Order, the two factions that rose from the war between the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire, the coming battle is sure to be an epic one. For Abrams, that meant also allowing room to create interesting new places to take the mythos.
"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,'" explained Abrams. "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.”
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film arrives on Dec. 20.