When Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premiers, it will wrap up over forty years of Star Wars storytelling. That includes forty years’ worth of stories, plots, sub-plots, characters, and relationships to bring to a close. Colin Trevorrow, reticent to deal with toxic fan backlash, stepped away from the task. In doing so he left it to writer/director J.J. Abrams and writer Chris Terrio. Conclude the saga, they will; Terrio himself confirmed that they will wrap up two dozen Star Wars character arcs in the one film.
Terrio beamed with excitement and pride while speaking with Polygon about his experience on the final episodic star wars film ever. While daunting, dealing with such a big production, and handling so many Star Wars character arcs at once, was also exhilarating:
The thing about a movie of this size is that you can imagine anything. Anything you can imagine, literally, can be realized in some way. It’s the only time in my life that I will ever have an experience like this. Not only that, but your heart is just brimming over because it’s Star Wars and it’s these characters that you love.”
Episode IX to wrap up twenty-four Star Wars character arcs
By Terrio’s last count, there were twenty-four Star Wars character arcs in The Rise of Skywalker. He described the task of handling them almost as if he was writing non-fiction:
Twenty-four characters whose stories had sort of beginning, middle, and end. So it’s daunting, but also, we would tell ourselves that this is just the history of the galaxy. It’s not like we’ve got to make up some confection in order to fit in certain things. We said, ‘No, this is what happened. This is the battle that happened. This was the chance that they took. This was the plan.'”
In order to address so many Star Wars character arcs, the writers necessarily had to dive deeply into the entire saga:
We went back and asked, ‘What about this strand? Was this little promise that was made in this episode ever fulfilled?’ Or, ‘here’s a little aspect of this character that seems kind of interesting and intriguing,’ or, as J.J. would say, ‘there’s always been this line in Empire Strikes Back, and I always think about that line. What do you think that means?'”
We’ll find out how Abrams, Terrio & co. handled all those Star Wars character arcs in exactly two weeks’ time.
Star Wars the Rise of Skywalker opens December 20.