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After over 40 years of big-screen storytelling centered on the Skywalkers, Star Wars is entering a new era. The upcoming release of Rise of Skywalker will bring an official end to the nine-film saga that began with A New Hope in 1977. So there’s a lot of high expectations riding on the conclusion crafted by writer/director J.J. Abrams, and he certainly seems to be feeling the weight of his position in the franchise, per these words:
This ending, which is such an important thing for all of us, by far, has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever worked on.
J.J. Abrams has had a massive career, from bringing back the original Star Trek crew to theaters in 2009 and continuing Star Wars with The Force Awakens, to creating legendary television shows such as Lost, Alias and Fringe. Coming back to helm Rise of Skywalker beats them all. It was his most massive undertaking, especially the ending.
The filmmaker talked about the forthcoming conclusion with the The Star Wars Show during D23 Expo in Anaheim, where he and the cast presented fans and press with jaw-dropping footage from The Rise of Skywalker. The sneak peek features Rey in a black hood and wielding a badass, retractable, double-edged red lightsaber. It has brought about questions about whether Daisy Ridley’s Star Wars character will be retreating to the Dark Side by the end of the franchise.
The Star Wars franchise has been ridden with high highs and low lows throughout its popularity that spans generations. Fans do tend to hone in on endings much of the time. It’s the difference between walking out of the theater with a smile or having a bitter taste on your tongue.
Movie/TV fans have witnessed quite a bit of endings this year too. Avengers: Endgame seemed to offer a satisfying conclusion overall among Marvel fans, while Game of Thrones enraged many. Daisy Ridley has teased that The Rise of Skywalker will be less controversial than the HBO series by the end.
Other clues we’ve compiled are composer John Williams’ thoughts on the ending. He recently said it will "put you all away" and "you will love it." The 87-year-old musician has been scoring the iconic music for the saga from beginning to end, excluding the spinoff movies. Another OG Star Wars member, Anthony Daniels (a.k.a. C3PO), said the last day on the set was plenty emotional and that he was proud of the conclusion.
The Rise of Skywalker will bring together the new cast with original members such as the late Carrie Fisher’s Leia, Billy Dee Williams’ Lando and Mark Hamill’s Force Ghost Luke. Emperor Palpatine has also been revealed to play a pivotal role in the conclusion come December 20.