J.J. Abrams Calls Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker the Most Challenging Thing He's Worked on

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be here in just a few months, and anticipation is already building. J.J. Abrams knows the challenge in front of him and thinks this film could be the hardest thing he's ever worked on. Star Wars' YouTube channel caught up with the entire cast of the upcoming film and asked some questions about their feelings heading into the last part of this new trilogy.

Abrams was asked specifically about how it felt to walk on stage at D23 and talk about the film they've been creating. He said, “It’s been a gift to work with these people again. To get to deal with these characters again. I didn’t think that was going to happen for me.” There must have been a period of doubt that he'd be allowed a crack at this story again and he's seizing his opportunity.

“This ending, which is such an important thing for all of us, by far, has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever worked on,” Abrams concluded.

This admission from the director is pretty staggering for a number of reasons. Keep in mind that Abrams has been at the helm for a number of strong box-office performers and critical darlings over the years. But, nailing the landing of this new trilogy makes getting the finale of something like LOST right look like drops in a bucket. To say a lot is riding on The Rise of Skywalker would be an understatement.

Star Wars fans can be hard to please, but over the last four decades they have faithfully shown up for every installment. Every fandom has its share of toxic fans, but some of the most vocal members of the Star Wars contingent have let their distate be known in disrespectful ways. Abrams' last film in the universe didn't escape criticism online.

The filmmaker told Marvelous TV how he deals with criticism and how to balance that fan reaction with his approach to making films at D23. He was very measured in addressing these responses to his work and the work of Rian Johnson as well.

"You just have to be grateful for them, because you don't want to be working on something no-one cares about," Abrams answered. "And you have to understand that they've got their opinions and, of course, you have to value them. You're never going to please everyone, you have to know that going in, and just do the best you can. I'm nothing but thankful as someone who considers myself a fan. I can't wait for them to see the film."

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a bit divisive among fans as people couldn't get enough of debating the merits of Rian Johnson's work. Abrams would not throw his fellow creator under the bus and delivered the message that he wouldn't be doubling back on any of that progress.

"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 told the Associated Press. "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."