Rian Johnson Didn’t Know Ben Solo’s Fate In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

It wasn’t a surprise that the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy turned out to be as underwhelming as it was divisive, when Disney and Lucasfilm’s approach to crafting Episodes VII, VIII and IX was antithetical to what typically makes a blockbuster franchise work.

Most movies designed as the start of a multi-film series tend to sketch out a rough idea of the overarching narrative long before production begins on the first installment, so that any changes behind the camera don’t end up pulling too far away from the original vision. That definitely wasn’t the case with The Last Jedi, though, after Rian Johnson admitted his surprise at just how much freedom he was afforded to do his own thing.

History then repeated itself, with J.J. Abrams stepping in to helm The Rise of Skywalker after Colin Trevorrow left the project, completely discarding the vast majority of his predecessor’s work in the process. Abrams sought to retcon as much of The Last Jedi as possible to appease the very vocally disgruntled fans who absolutely hated it, but the conclusion to The Skywalker Saga only served to disappoint them for an entirely different set of reasons.

In a new interview with author Sariah Wilson, Johnson confirmed that he had no idea Ben Solo was going to make the ultimate sacrifice at the end of The Rise of Skywalker, explaining that a complete and total hand-off was made after he wrapped The Last Jedi, allowing Abrams to step in and pretty much do whatever he wanted.

Based on the polarizing reception experienced by both Episode VIII and IX, the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy would have no doubt turned out much better if there was at least some sort of long-term plan put in place before The Force Awakens started shooting.