Abrams went on to explain that while bringing the story to a close, he didn’t have a “list of payoffs” that he ran down. Instead, as he developed the story, he wanted it to unfold organically. In a separate interview with Rolling Stone, Abrams continued to stress that this is the conclusion:
“I felt going into this, even on [Episode] VII — I don’t remember if this was discussed or not, but it felt like this was the final trilogy. It felt like it earned being the conclusion of that story. Who’s to say what comes next? Is there something else to be done that involves any of these characters? I’m working on nothing [Star Wars-related], so I’m not hinting at anything. I’m just saying, who’s to know, but it just felt like the end.”
During the interview, Abrams was asked if The Rise of Skywalker will end things on a hopeful note, to which he responded:
“Well, you certainly want to feel like it was worth the journey, and like there’s something satisfying — without talking about happy or sad endings.”
He then added that the real challenge of the film was to remain true to everything that came before while also trying to give fans something fresh:
“The challenge was to find a way to be consistent, honor what’s come before, but also do something that’s unexpected. It had to be something that feels like it’s part of the piece but relevant to today. And then, while you’re on the tightrope, you want to dance. You want the thing to have delight. So you’re on this razor’s edge.”
I know that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker won’t make everyone happy. But, I do hope it exceeds expectations, and as a huge fan of the franchise, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20.