Now that we’ve gotten another glimpse of how the Skywalker saga will come to an end with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, fans are speculating wildly about how the story will unfold, especially with that shot of Rey wearing a Sith robe and wielding a modified, double-bladed red lightsaber. Beyond that, much of the speculation has been regarding how J.J. Abrams will deal with the story developments from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. And for everyone who thought that Abrams had to fix or undo what Rian Johnson did with his Star Wars sequel in order to make the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ending work, think again.
In a red carpet interview from The D23 Expo last weekend, J.J. Abrams said, despite what some fans think, The Last Jedi didn’t change anything about the trajectory of the story that the director envisioned when he started working on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Abrams told The Associated Press (via ET Canada):
“The story that we’re telling, the story that we started to conceive when we did ‘The Force Awakens,’ was allowed to continue. Episode VIII didn’t really derail anything that we were thinking about.”
Initially, that might not seem like it tells us much about how Abrams is wrapping up this new Star Wars trilogy and the entire Skywalker saga, but it says more than you think. That means that what Rian Johnson revealed about Rey’s parents, through Kylo Ren (albeit an untrustworthy source) didn’t change anything about what Abrams had in mind for Rey’s origins.
It sounds like the idea of Rey’s parents being nobodies won’t be retconned or anything like that. Of course, that doesn’t mean Rey’s lineage isn’t tied to another character by other means, whether it’s grandparents, or some other familiar connection. After all, Abrams said at Star Wars Celebration that “there is more to the story than you’ve seen.”
Furthermore, this also means that the death of Supreme Leader Snoke didn’t create any hurdles for J.J. Abrams to overcome either. In fact, what Abrams says here would seem to indicate that the plan was always to bring Emperor Palpatine back at some point. But the question is what has Emperor Palpatine been doing this whole time? Why is he only just now resurfacing in this final third chapter? Has his presence been part of this new trilogy this whole time and we just didn’t know it?
There’s a chance J.J. Abrams is just playing nice in the press and doesn’t want to call out any story threads he had to skew in order to finish the story the way that he originally imagined. After all, you don’t want to throw anyone under the bus and create bad blood if you don’t have to. But maybe the events of The Last Jedi pushed Rey and Kylo Ren in a direction that wasn’t planned but not so much that it wreaked havoc on where Abrams wanted those arcs to end up.
It’s hard to tell how this will all play out, especially with regards to the end, but Daisy Ridley did mention to MTV that she thinks the ending of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be less controversial than the ending of Game of Thrones. Ridley hasn’t actually seen the end of Game of Thrones yet, but she’s likely basing that off all the buzz after the show’s finale. Of course, with Star Wars fans, you never know what’s going to set them off, so we’ll have to take stock after the movie arrives in theaters later this year on December 20, 2019.
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