If there’s one thing that’s sure to rile up a certain type of Star Wars fan, it’s the innovations the Sequel Trilogy has made to the ways of the Force. From Rey instantly mastering complex Jedi skills in The Force Awakens to Leia floating through space in The Last Jedi, many moments have been met with a cry of “That’s not how the Force works!” from frustrated diehards. Sure enough, we’ve been promised that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will ring in its own changes, too. And, what’s more, they’ll definitely “infuriate” some people.
That’s what director J.J. Abrams has warned, anyway. While speaking to Vanity Fair, the filmmaker made clear that he was passionate about moving the franchise forward in TROS by creating new elements that some will love and some, he understands, won’t. He didn’t tease what these might be, but we can certainly expect some new Force powers in Episode IX.
“It was really important that we not just redo the things you’ve seen, but add new elements—which we knew will infuriate some people and thrill others,” Abrams revealed to Vanity Fair. “Among those things are not just new ways of doing sort of traditional, must-have sequences, whether it’s chases or lightsaber battles, or what have you. We wanted to make sure that this picture also showed aspects of the Force in ways that go beyond what you’ve seen before.”
A couple of additions to the lore that Rian Johnson made in TLJ include the psychic connection that Rey and Kylo Ren shared which allowed them to converse from great distances – AKA “Force Skype.” Likewise, Luke was able to project himself – an idealized, younger version of himself, at that – to battle Kylo on Crait while actually meditating on Ahch-To. Though of course, this seemed to exact a great toll as it ultimately cost him his life.
Abrams’ comments here recall his promise that Johnson’s work on the last movie inspired him to be bold and take risks on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. As he predicts above, many will likely have problems with some of these decisions, but he had to make the movie he wanted to and not just pander to a subset of the fandom.