One of the biggest criticisms of Star Wars: The Force Awakens had everything to do with one Starkiller Base and how it kind of railroaded the ending of the film into being a repeat of A New Hope years ago. So for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, making a completely new story was a high priority for writer-director J. J. Abrams.
Talking with Fandango at Star Wars Celebration Chicago, Abrams explained that he is well aware of concerns about his previous film coming across as derivative, he notes that it was not the intention of his film and that he wanted to use some similar circumstances to the original film as a means to help shape the backgrounds of the various new characters. He also explained that the Hero’s Journey archetype of storytelling often leads to some familiar ground being covered at the start of a story.
But with The Rise of Skywalker, the movie is set to cover completely new ground, and Abrams stated that “we very much wanted to make sure that we were not somehow inadvertently being so influenced by one thing”, and from there he went on to explain that since the film is the end of a series, it has to pay homage to what came before in a more meaningful way than adapting past events into a different context. You can view the full interview below:
J.J. Abrams heard the grumbles of The Force Awakens being too similar to A New Hope, but he reminds fans that #TheRiseOfSkywalker will feel the influence of ALL the films that came before it. pic.twitter.com/m5K3dDTxSK
— Fandango (@Fandango) April 13, 2019
From the look of things in the trailer, it seems like delivering an original story full of new locations and action sequences is one of the highest priorities for the team involved. Some people are already making the “oh, so there’s a Death Star in this one, so it’s a rehash of Return of the Jedi” complaint, which seems like reaching of the highest order considering that the thing is in ruins, is partially submerged underwater, and won’t be firing at anything anytime soon. Based on what’s been shown, some truly weird stuff is going to be mixed in with several thrilling battles for what should be an awesome conclusion to a story 42 years in the making.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on December 20, 2019.