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Spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
After decades of filmmaking and nine movies, the Skywalker Saga has finally come to an end. J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrived in theaters in time for the holidays, wrapping up both the sequel trilogy and franchise as a whole. There was a ton of ground to cover throughout Episode IX's 142 minute runtime, starting from the very first sequence. And the movie's editor recently explained that wild Snoke twist.
Supreme Leader Snoke debuted in The Force Awakens, and looked like he was going to be the big bad of the trilogy. After he was unceremoniously killed off in The Last Jedi, fans thought they'd never get his backstory. But J.J. Abrams flipped the character on its head again in The Rise of Skywalker, revealing him to be constructed by Palpatine in order to manipulate Kylo Ren. Maryann Brandon edited Episode IX, and explained how that reveal was handled in the movie's opening scene.
I just think that came up as a visual effect that we thought would be really fun for an audience, to create a visual that would tell that whole story. I believe that’s successful. We didn’t have to change a lot of dialogue. You just see one shot [...] and you kind of get it. I love stuff like that. We can just have a moment where you just see something in the background and you go, ‘OK, I totally get that.’
Well, she's got a point. Snoke's story wasn't a focus on The Rise of Skywalker, or even Kylo Ren's first scene with Palpatine. Instead, we're given an explanation visually, as various Snoke clones were seen in the tubes around The Emperor, and one quick line of dialogue.
Maryann Brandon's comments to HuffPost help to shine a light on the creative process behind crafting Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While director J.J. Abrams wrote and directed the massive blockbuster, the editor is one of the most important people on a film crew. Especially for beloved blockbusters like Star Wars.
Star Wars fans can re-watch the Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
There was a ton of storytelling to get through in The Rise of Skywalker, so there wasn't much time for reflection and stillness. So the true identity of Snoke needed to be revealed, and quickly. As such, we're shown Palpatine's followers tending to the various clones, revealing that The Emperor has been the puppet master behind the First Order all along.
A ton of theories about Snoke made their way online following The Force Awakens. But Rian Johnson subverted our expectations by killing him off in The Last Jedi's second act, before we got any real history or context on the villain. But J.J. Abrams still ended up getting control over the character's fate, and used him to help bring Palpatine into the action of Episode IX.
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.