Abrams met with George Lucas prior to writing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
If fans weren’t already excited about the long-awaited Star Wars; The Rise of Skywalker, the first trailer dropping yesterday certainly sparked that anticipation, but what some fans may not be prepared for is that the next installment is also the finale for the primary saga, and though J.J. Abrams brought the sequel trilogy to life in exhilarating fashion in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he looked to someone from the past to help bring the saga to a close: franchise creator himself, George Lucas.
In an interview with IGN at Star Wars Celebration Event in Chicago, Abrams discussed how he met with the 74-year-old franchise creator prior to writing the script to help craft an epic conclusion audiences and the possibility that his creative involvement might have led to the return of Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine.
“This movie had a very, very specific challenge, which was to take eight films and give an ending to three trilogies, and so we had to look at, what is the bigger story? We had conversations amongst ourselves, we met with George Lucas before writing the script,” Abrams said. “These were things that were in real, not debate, but looking at the vastness of the story and trying to figure out, what is the way to conclude this? But it has to work on its own as a movie, it has to be its own thing, it has to be surprising and funny and you have to understand it.”
Returning cast members for Episode IX include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast are Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), Matt Smith (Doctor Who) and Keri Russell (The Americans), who will also be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. Ian McDiarmid is also set to return as Emperor Palpatine.
The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: Episode IX began filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, with J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek) returning to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio (Argo, Justice League). Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.
The film will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20.