Capping off a 42-year, 9-film series is no simple task, and J. J. Abrams knew of the risks when he decided to tackle Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. So he spoke to three of the most famous figures involved with developing movies for the series: George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, and Rian Johnson.
In a new piece from Good Morning America, Abrams confirmed that he consulted with Lucas (the director of A New Hope, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, and a writer on all of those films, along with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi), along with Kasdan (the writer Empire, Return, and The Force Awakens, along with the spin-off Solo), and Johnson, his immediate predecessor (who is in the midst of developing his own trilogy of films, which he will direct at least the first installment):
“We met with George [Lucas], we met with Rian [Johnson], we talked with Larry [Kasdan]. [Developing the movie involved] a lot of thinking, and trying not to overthink, but really considering what [this story] meant.”
The former two are of course known for their work on the original trilogy, while the latter wrote and directed the film that serves as a sequel to Abrams’s The Force Awakens and serves as a predecessor to Abrams’s The Rise of Skywalker. Abrams previously had discussions with Johnson prior to passing the baton to him on The Last Jedi, and unsurprisingly, the two talked about the future when he took on the final film in the sequel trilogy. In general, it sounds like Abrams intends to have his film have heavy connections to everything that’s come before, while also delivering a movie that provides a satisfying narrative in and of itself.
Unfortunately, aside from that quote, Abrams was not pressed for further information about what he talked with Lucas, Kasdan, and Johnson about. He did, however, explain that a big reason why he waited to reveal the title to The Rise of Skywalker had to do with giving the movie space from other installments in the series:
“It felt like there were a series of Star Wars movies that came out pretty close behind this one. We didn’t want to feel like we were getting lost in that. We felt like it was kind of better to wait until the right moment.”
Lastly, Lucasfilm President and The Rise of Skywalker producer Kathleen Kennedy stated the word to sum up the film is “Hope”, and that she felt that the team behind the film is pulling out all the stops in order to deliver what might just be the biggest Star Wars movie ever:
“I think it will absolutely live up to the hype. I think we have all poured our heart and soul into making sure it lives up to the hype. I think the story’s pretty great.”
The full video can be seen below:
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on December 20, 2019.