As fans know, George Lucas doesn’t play an active role in the making of Star Wars anymore, not since Disney bought out Lucasfilm earlier this decade. However, he does occasionally drop by and offer the productions a few tips. For instance, he gave Solo’s Alden Ehrenreich some advice and came up with at least one scene in the movie. And now we’ve learned that he also had some input on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
In an interview with IGN, director J.J. Abrams spoke about the challenges of making Episode IX, knowing that it would bring the Skywalker Saga to a close. To make sure they were getting at the heart of the story that’s been unfolding for four decades, the filmmaker revealed that Lucas was consulted on the script.
“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. 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.”
This confirms reports that came out last year claiming that Lucas had been brought on board to help re-affirm the direction of Episode IX after all the creative differences that led Colin Trevorrow to walk away from the project and Lucasfilm to rehire Abrams after he helmed The Force Awakens. We also heard that Lucas’ main role was to “fix” Luke Skywalker’s character, after his darker turn in The Last Jedi, but there’s no evidence to support that part of the rumor yet.
That said, the first trailer for Rise of Skywalker definitely piled on the nostalgia, possibly as a way to course-correct fan approval after TLJ. As such, consulting Lucas seems to have been a product of Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio (Argo) wanting to hark back to the Original Trilogy in a bid to tie up the past nine movies.
In any case, we’ll see how well they succeeded when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives on December 20th.