The past few years have been great for Star Wars fans, as there's been a ton of new and exciting projects hitting theaters since Disney acquired Lucasfilm. The House of Mouse has produced standalone films and an upcoming live-action series, although fans are most invested in the main franchise. The nine-film narrative will end with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with J.J. Abrams returning to the director's chair to tie up a variety of stories.
The pressure is on for J.J. Abrams to conclude the story he began with The Force Awakens, as well as the entire franchise up to this point. Adam Driver has starred as the villainous Kylo Ren in the sequel trilogy, and recently revealed that his character's story was planned from back in Episode VII, and has remained consistent through The Rise of Skywalker. As he put it:
An overall arc was very, not vague, the opposite, it was very clear—[there was] an end in sight even from the very beginning. The details obviously hadn’t been worked out, but we had talked about the very thing that we’d been working towards with this last one.
Well, this is a relief. Because while The Last Jedi shocked audience and The Rise of Skywalker was originally set to be directed by Colin Trevorrow, it looks like the overall story hasn't been changed much since The Force Awakens was in production.
Adam Driver's comments to Vanity Fair are sure to excite the hardcore Star Wars fandom, who might be nervous about what J.J. Abrams is bringing to the franchise with The Rise of Skywalker. Rian Johnson purposefully subverted fan expectations with The Last Jedi, and the blockbuster is the most divisive installment in the long running property. His bold choices didn't vibe with some of the hardcore fandom, although now it looks like the current trilogy's core narrative has remained consistent across all three movies.
The Star Wars franchise is beloved by entire generations of fans, so the pressure is on for J.J. Abrams to deliver with The Rise of Skywalker. But since he was the architect of the property's return to theaters, Abrams has a full understanding of the story, and will be able to wrap it up on a way that (hopefully) satisfies the rabid fanbase. Although the contents of Episode IX are still a total mystery at the moment.
There are a ton of balls in the air for the current Star Wars trilogy, so J.J. Abrams' narrative possibilities are seemingly endless. Audiences will follow the final battle for Ben Solo's soul, General Leia's final appearance, as well as the trio of new heroes. The first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker was truly epic, so the wait until Episode IX's will be excruciating for hardcore fans.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will arrive in theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.