When it was first announced that screenwriter Chris Terrio would be co-writing Star Wars: Episode IX, some fans had mixed feelings. Despite winning the Academy Award for writing the script for Ben Affleck's Argo, Terrio is perhaps best known for writing the screenplays for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, the former for which Terrio was "awarded" a Razzie for Worst Screenplay. The response to those films had an effect on Terrio as you can imagine, which made his interest in blockbusters evaporate, making his involvement in Star Wars a surprise even to him.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Terrio opened up about the process of joining the team for The Rise of Skywalker, revealing he had no plans to work on major movies like this after his experience in the DCEU.
"I never thought I would work on another franchise film," Terrio said. "And in fact when J.J. hired me, he hired me based on a little political thriller, because I was back to doing that, which is really how I started as a writer. And then Star Wars came about. This was a very, very, very different way of working. It was extremely collaborative, and it’s a credit to the producers, I think, that everyone was making the same movie. That’s not always an easy thing with a movie of this size. Sometimes the studio wants to make one movie, and the producer wants to make a different movie, and the director wants to make a different movie, and the writer wants to make a different movie. On this one, I had an experience very much like Argo, where we all were making the same movie. We agonized over every decision within that, but it was a joyous process."
Terrio went on to say that the process for writing the film felt very intimate, skin to a small, character-based movie and that the creatives developing the movie was smaller than you would expect.
"I know (it) sounds implausible, but actually, the creative circle was quite small. You really had the feeling that we were we were making an independent film, as crazy as that sounds when you think about the scale and the worldwide exposure of this film. You know, it was Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins on the design side and [visual effects supervisor] Roger Guyett at ILM and [producer] Michelle Rejwan and Kathy [Kennedy] and [costume designer] Michael Kaplan and Neil Scanlon in creatures. That was pretty much the room. So it was a small room of creators getting to just collaborate and challenge each other and argue and have euphoric days and have down days, as with any artistic process. It really reinvigorated me, because I know it’s not easy to make films that are on a large scale. To see people at the level of J.J. and Kathy doing it this way was really inspiring."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will star Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. New cast members include Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell, with returning veteran actors including Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor. The official synopsis for the film reads:
"Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams join forces once again to take viewers on an epic journey to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the riveting conclusion of the seminal Skywalker saga, where new legends will be born and the final battle for freedom is yet to come."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in U.S. theaters on December 20.
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