Since the first teaser trailer of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker first dropped, many fans theorised that the film would retcon a lot of what happened in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi (i.e. Kylo Ren mending his smashed helmet). This, of course, comes at the heels of The Last Jedi being heavily criticised by certain portions of the fanbase for “derailing everything that was set up in The Force Awakens” and also “ruining Star Wars.”
However, in reality, that might not be the case at all. In an interview with The Associated Press (via ET Canada), JJ Abrams mentioned that The Last Jedi did not alter the direction of the story he initially had in mind while making Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“The story that we’re telling, the story that we started to conceive when we did ‘The Force Awakens,’ was allowed to continue. Episode VIII [The Last Jedi] didn’t really derail anything that we were thinking about.”
I think it’s fair to be disappointed that the legendary characters like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo didn’t receive grand heroic moments before their demises (I personally love how the OT characters are utilised in the new trilogy, but one man’s meat…). However, the whole notion that “Rian Johnson destroyed Star Wars” makes no sense, considering it was JJ Abrams who killed off Han Solo and used Luke Skywalker for a whopping 2.3 seconds in The Force Awakens. Based on what we see in The Force Awakens, as well as what Abrams has been saying in interviews, Rian Johnson did indeed continue Abrams’ story in a manner in which he’s satisfied with.
It also makes the mystery of Rey’s parentage all the more interesting, since in The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren tells Rey that her parents are “nobodies who sold her off for drinking money.” Did JJ Abrams intend for that to be the plot right from the get-go or will we discover that there are aspects of Rey’s past that even Kylo Ren in unaware of?
There’s also the unceremonious and shocking death of Supreme Leader Snoke at the ends of the rage-fuelled Kylo Ren. Abrams has mentioned in the past that it was always their plan to bring back Palpatine in the new trilogy. So perhaps Abrams had it in his mind to kill off Snoke as well?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits cinemas this December 19.