Chris Terrio has recently revealed that he and director J.J. Abrams struggled with writing the ending to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as it was also the ending to the saga as a whole.
Episode IX had to pass a lot of checkmarks in terms of narrative resolutions and a satisfying conclusion to the main story of that galaxy far, far away. The movie not only had to redeem Disney after the divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but also bring a sense of unanimity to the fandom and conclude the story in a meaningful way that’d somehow justify the Sequel Trilogy’s very existence. With all of that in mind, one can only imagine how difficult it must have been for Abrams and Chris Terrio to write every scene in a way that’d serve as a nod to the franchise, while also making sure that the script would stick the landing, lest they end up pissing off fans even more.
Of course, with the film proving to be just as divisive as its predecessor, that’s exactly what happened. There are a lot of fans who believe that The Rise of Skywalker dropped the ball, deeming it a rushed and convoluted mess of a movie. Even the ending, which saw Rey defeat Palpatine and Ben sacrifice himself to save her, caught a lot of flak. And according to Terrio, the duo had a lot of trouble writing those final scenes.
In the making-of documentary found on the recently released Blu-ray disc, Terrio admits to struggling with the film’s ending, saying:
“J.J. and I were having a lot of trouble with the end of the film at one point in the process, and [production designer] Rick Carter said to us, ‘I think it’s because you two don’t want Star Wars to be over. You don’t want the Skywalker saga to be over, so you don’t really want to write it.’ And I think there was a lot of truth in that.”
It’s hard to say which ending the writer is referring to, whether it’s the destruction of Palpatine or Rey taking on the Skywalker name and watching the twin sunset on Tatooine as the movie comes to a close. For better or for worse, though, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker did end the saga in a definitive way, and there’s little anyone can do to change how it transpired.