Another day, another scrap from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to drool over – hopefully enough to distract you from the interminable wait for its release. In the tradition of every nerd with nothing better to do with their time, I’ll be helping to piece together the picture for a film that isn’t even out yet like a detective obsessed with solving a 30-year cold case.
Days ago, Colin Trevorrow, the director initially signed on to helm Episode IX, revealed the intriguing detail that it was J.J. Abrams’ idea to bring back much loved/feared big bad Emperor Palpatine. Now, with the promotional shebang in full-swing, Abrams has taken to the interview circuit to discuss his reasons for making the major decision to bring everyone’s favourite dark lord called Sheev back to the franchise.
“Well, when you look at this as nine chapters of a story, perhaps the weirder thing would be if Palpatine didn’t return. You just look at what he talks about, who he is, how important he is, what the story is — strangely, his absence entirely from the third trilogy would be conspicuous. It would be very weird.”
Considering how diplomatic directors often are when referring to the work of those who have gone before them, it at least arouses attention to see Abrams being so candid here. His predecessor Trevorrow had refused even to be drawn into a discussion about what of his work on the film would make it to the final cut. Abrams’ implicit questioning, meanwhile, of the previous creative team’s decision not to consider bringing back Palpatine certainly represents a break from the norm.
Abrams rounded off his interview with Uproxx by reassuring fans of his desire to bring closure to the Skywalker story, saying:
“I will say, without giving anything away, knowing this movie is an ending is, for me infinitely more challenging than a beginning,” he said. “We knew we needed to provide answers. And while there may be some things that aren’t entirely demystified by the end of it, we wanted to make sure people left feeling that they were satisfied. So I hope, on a number of issues, people will leave and feel like that it’s a true ending and not an advertising ploy. We really are bringing it to an end.”
Whether this offers any comfort to Star Wars fans fraying at Disney’s designs on endless multi-media conglomeration (just look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s never-ending sequelitis), I’m not sure. Then again, is anything going to ameliorate those pre-release nerves? 24 days to go at the time of writing. Keep calm and carry on (watching movies).