The upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker faces a daunting task of delivering audiences not only a fulfilling standalone film, not only a fulfilling conclusion to the sequel trilogy, but also a fulfilling conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. Director JJ Abrams had his work cut out for him, having to balance new and old characters alike, while finding ways to not only address the past, but also to look to the future. The first teaser for the film has debuted, featuring a number of familiar faces, but the trailer itself also honored Star Wars: The Phantom Menace with the text that audiences were first shown.
Above is the first title card in the Rise of the Skywalker teaser, reading, "Every Generation Has a Legend." Below is the first text from the Phantom Menace trailer, which uses the same phrase.
From a thematic perspective, the use of the phrase in Phantom Menace seemingly addresses the audience directly, while the use of the phrase in Rise of Skywalker feels more like a reflection of the characters in the film and stories they've heard of both great heroes and great evil.
Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams recently revealed the pressures of delivering audiences the final chapter in the saga that launched more than 40 years ago.
"Our movie was not just following what we had started [with The Force Awakens], it was following what we had started and then had been advanced by someone else [with Star Wars: The Last Jedi]. So there was that, and, finally, it was resolving nine movies," Abrams shared with Fast Company. "While there are some threads of larger ideas and some big picture things that had been conceived decades ago and a lot of ideas that Lawrence Kasdan and I had when we were doing Episode VII, the lack of absolute inevitability, the lack of a complete structure for this thing, given the way it was being run, was an enormous challenge."
Despite those challenges, with production having wrapped earlier this year, the filmmaker believes he accomplished the nearly impossible task.
"However, to answer your question—truly, finally—now that I'm back, the difference is I feel like we might've done it," Abrams admitted. "Like, I actually feel like this crazy challenge that could have been a wildly uncomfortable contortion of ideas, and a kind of shoving-in of answers and Band-Aids and bridges and things that would have felt messy. Strangely, we were sort of relentless and almost unbearably disciplined about the story and forcing ourselves to question and answer some fundamental things that at the beginning, I absolutely had no clue how we would begin to address."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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