The long-running saga that J.J. Abrams helped revive four years ago will finally come to a close this winter, as we'll finally see the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in theaters. The movie will serve as the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga, capping off after nine entries in the franchise.
After some shuffling and set backs behind the scenes that delayed the film six months, fans were shocked to learn that Abrams was returning to the franchise for the final installment, replacing ousted director Colin Trevorrow after creative differences with Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy. But actor Domhnall Gleeson, who has appeared in the sequel trilogy as General Hux, recently stated that Abrams' return makes sense for the series.
"I had enjoyed the experience with J.J. so much, but then really enjoyed the experience with [Last Jedi director Rian Johnson] also," Gleeson said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. "So I was game for whomever they threw at the turf, but when I heard it was J.J., it made total sense to me. [Episode] VII had been so great, and he understands it so thoroughly. He invented all of those characters. For him to usher them through the door... I thought it made total sense. It’s important to take risks when you’re making films, and J.J. takes them in the right way. I thought that it was really smart and very, very fortuitous that they got him back."
Much like Johnson pushed the forward in a new direction with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Abrams seems to be concluding the trilogy he began without being shackled to the expectations from prior films.
“Working on IX, I found myself approaching it slightly differently— which is to say that, on VII, I felt beholden to Star Wars in a way that was interesting— I was doing what to the best of my ability I felt Star Wars should be… (This time) it felt slightly more renegade; it felt slightly more like, you know, F**k it, I’m going to do the thing that feels right because it does, not because it adheres to something,” Abrams explained in an interview with Vanity Fair.
We'll see how the saga ends when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in theaters on December 20th.