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The Group in The Rise of Skywalker

The Star Wars franchise has been expanding impressively over the last few years, thanks to Disney's acquisition of Lucasfim. It all started with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which introduced a new class of characters to interact with franchise favorites like Luke, Leia, and Han. Since then, the galaxy has continued to grow through standalone films and the upcoming Mandalorian live-action TV series. But all eyes are on the main franchise, especially since Episode IX will end the Skywalker Saga forever.

J.J Abrams is back in the director's chair for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and there's a ton of pressure to deliver. In addition to wrapping up the current trilogy, the upcoming blockbuster must also end the narrative George Lucas began back in A New Hope. But the generations of fans should rest easy, because Abrams consulted with Lucas early in the process. As he recently revealed:

There have been a lot of ideas since the beginning, since George first came up with this, of where things could go. We had a meeting with him before we even wrote the script about this. So a lot of what we have taken, is really taken to heart, everything that's come before. While it's been obviously significantly challenging, it's been a greater opportunity than a challenge. I cannot wait for you to see what this movie is.

Well, this is exciting. Because although George Lucas isn't intimately involved in the current trilogy of Star Wars movies, it appears he did have some input regarding The Rise of Skywalker. So perhaps we'll all get the ending the beloved space opera deserves.

J.J. Abrams' comments to MTV News are sure to excite Star Wars fans, especially the OG moviegoers who saw Episodes IV-VI in theaters in the 70s and 80s. While the prequel series left something to be desired, Star Wars is only possible through George Lucas' vision and ambition. The last few movies may not have been what Lucas planned for the sequel trilogy, but at least he was consulted ahead of the franchise's big finale.

From the first The Rise of Skywalker trailer, it does look like J.J. Abrams is taking a more traditional approach to the sequel. While Rian Johnson subverted fan expectations in The Last Jedi, Abrams will have to provide a satisfying conclusion, and wrap up a ton of narrative threads. That includes taking the group of characters on an adventure together, rather than keeping their plots separate.

As a reminder, you can check out the first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker below.

The gang's all there, including Carrie Fisher's Leia, courtesy of unused footage from the last two movies. The movie's trailer and title were released last week at Star Wars Celebration, and set the internet aflame. While anticipation was already high, Palpatine's laugh in The Rise of Skywalker's trailer proved that J.J. Abrams could potentially go anywhere for Episode IX.

More information should come as the movie draws closer. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to arrive on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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