J.J. Abrams Says The Last Jedi Didn't Derail Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Plans

The Skywalker Saga has dominated the box office ever since Disney and Lucasfilm revived the franchise for the sequel trilogy, but despite the billion dollar gross of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it still proved to be divisive among fans. From how the film handled the threat of Supreme Leader Snoke, setting up Kylo Ren to be an even more powerful villain in the process, to how it revealed the answer of Rey's parentage, some of the film's storyline choices continue to be debated by fans. But Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams continues to support Rian Johnson's movie, saying it did not interrupt his plans.

While speaking with Associated Press at D23 Expo last week, Abrams revealed that they were able to tell the story he imagined when he concocted with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"The story that we're telling, the story that we started to conceive when we did The Force Awakens was allowed to continue. Episode VIII didn't really derail anything that we were thinking about," Abrams explained. "But I will say that the fun of this movie is that these characters are all together on this adventure as a group. That's the thing that I was most excited about to see, the dynamic between these characters that these amazing actors play on this desperate, seat-of-your-pants adventure. That, to me, was the most fun, having the group together."

Abrams previously stated that he wouldn't kowtow to fan expectations during an interview with IndieWire earlier this year.

"Not in the least," Abrams said about changing The Rise of Skywalker because of fan demands. "There’s a lot that I would like to say about it, but I feel like it’s a little early to be having the Episode IX conversation … I will say that the story of Rey and Poe and Finn and Kylo Ren — and if you look, there are three men and one woman, to those that are complaining that there are too many women in Star Wars — their story continues in a way that I couldn’t be more excited about and cannot wait for people to see."

The director later teased to ABC News that the story of Rey's parents isn't exactly finished, and there's more to learn in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

"I will say that we knew going into this that this movie had to be a satisfying conclusion, and we’re well aware that that is one of the things that’s sort of been out there," Abrams said. "I don’t want to say that what happens in Episode VIII — you know, we’ve honored that. But I will say there’s more to the story than you’ve seen."

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in theaters on December 20th.

Update: A previous version of this story credited the video to ET Canada, and it has since been corrected.