Although many consider Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi to be a radical departure from what J.J. Abrams began in The Force Awakens, the returning co-writer/director assures the events of Episode VIII didn't have a detrimental effect on the plans for The Rise of Skywalker.
"The story that we started to conceive when we did The Force Awakens, it was allowed to continue," Abrams told ET Canada. "Episode VIII didn't really derail anything that we were thinking about."
One complaint among some Star Wars fans is that the sequel trilogy seemed to lack a clear direction. After all, Lucasfilm originally hired Abrams, Johnson and Colin Trevorrow to direct Episodes VII, VIII and IX respectively. It was only after Trevorrow was fired over creative differences that Abrams was brought back to bring an end to the Skywalker saga. Nevertheless, if Abrams is to be believed, there appears to be a clear throughline for the saga after all.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalkerstars 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.