Why Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Needs To Work As A Standalone Movie, According To J.J. Abrams

The past few years have been very exciting for Star Wars fans, as new and exciting projects have been released in theaters. The galaxy far, far away only continues to grow, including standalone films and an upcoming live-action TV series. But all eyes are currently on the main franchise, as J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker will conclude the current trilogy, as well as the nine movie narrative that started with A New Hope.

Episode IX will end the Skywalker Saga forever, so there is a ton of pressure regarding what J.J. Abrams will include in the upcoming blockbuster. But while The Rise of Skywalker is the final installment in a long running franchise, the director also took care to craft an independent story that stands on its own. As he recently explained at Star Wars Celebration:

J.J. Abrams may understand the pressure of wrapping up the Star Wars franchise as we know it, but he also wanted to create a contained, satisfying movie. That balance is going to be important going into The Rise of Skywalker, so it’s good to see that Abrams is cognizant of it all.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker might be the final movie in a decades spanning franchise, but it’s also going to be focused on the trio of new characters that J.J. Abrams created for The Force Awakens. So while Leia, Lando, and Luke will factor into the story, smart money says the primary focus will be on the new class, and their continued battle against The First Order.

During the same conversation at Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy spoke to the challenge of wrapping up the entire franchise so far, ending a narrative that was started decades ago when A New Hope premiered in 1977. As Kennedy put it,

It looks like everyone involved in The Rise of Skywalker understood the dual role the film had to play. Yes, the Skywalker Saga must be given an appropriate ending, but the movie also has to function as a standalone film, with its own themes and story. The pressure is on, so we’ll just have to wait and see what J.J. Abrams churns out with his second foray into the beloved space opera.

All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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