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Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
After years of patiently waiting, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrived just in time for the holiday season. J.J. Abrams' second installment in the beloved franchise wrapped up the nine-film Skywalker Saga and followed up on the events of Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi. The new blockbuster has been making a ton of money at the box office, although one writer recently revealed the "tricky" aspect to following up on Episode VII.
Director Rian Johnson purposefully subverted fan expectations in The Last Jedi, with a myriad of plot twists that seemingly ended theories that had gained traction online. One prime example of this was the fate of Snoke, as he was unceremoniously killed off by Kylo Ren before we could learn of the villain's origin. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's writer Chris Terrio recently opened up about the challenge in continuing that character's journey after his death. More specifically, how Ben Solo's redemption would occur without that villain. As he put it,
We felt that right from the beginning, when J.J. [Abrams, director] established Kylo Ren in Episode VII, there was a war going on inside him and that he had been corrupted by something bigger than himself and had made bad choices along the way. J.J. and I felt we needed to find a way in which he could be redeemed, and that gets tricky at the end of Episode VIII because Snoke is gone. The biggest bad guy in the galaxy at that moment seemingly is Kylo Ren.
That sounds about right. Rian Johnson had his own bold creative choices in The Last Jedi. And as a result, the writing process for The Rise of Skywalker was affected, as J.J. Abrams and company attempted to craft a satisfying ending fort the Star Wars franchise as we know it.
Chris Terrio's comments to Awards Daily help to peel back the curtain of Star Wars' writing process, especially as the sequel trilogy was helmed by two different directors. The original movies and prequels were all directed by George Lucas, so he was able to to have full control over the story. But Lucasfilm has given a variety of director the chance to enter the galaxy far, far away. This includes Rian Johnson, Ron Howard, and Gareth Edwards (in addition to some other directors who were fired).
Star Wars fans can re-watch The Last Jedi and the entire Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
Snoke was seemingly set up to the the overarching villain of the current trilogy, before J.J. Abrams eventually decided to bring Palpatine back for The Rise of Skywalker. But his death in The Last Jedi put a wrench into those plans. Ultimately Abrams did end up expanding the backstory of Andy Serkis' character in The Rise of Skywalker. The film's opening scene revealed that Snoke was actually a creation of Palpatine's, in yet another plot twist no one expected.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.