Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker saw the surprise return of a number of characters, with the film's co-writer Chris Terrio recently confirming that, to avoid accidentally revealing these surprises in early discussions about the film, he and director J.J. Abrams gave them code names as to avoid leaks. Fans learned of Emperor Palpatine's return when the first teaser for the film debuted, a character who earned the code name "Trooper 13," while Han Solo's brief appearance in the film to have a conversation with Ben Solo resulted in him earning the nickname of "The Janitor." Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.
"I am very relieved to finally be able to speak about this without generalities," Terrio shared with GQ. "I can use proper nouns! You know, when J.J. and I were discussing the movie in public, in coffee shops, we would have to use code words to talk about the characters for fear someone would overhear us."
He added, "The code for The Emperor was 'Trooper 13.' Or if we were talking about Harrison [Ford] we would call him 'The Janitor.' We felt that was a huge unresolved part of Kylo. The family sin. So closure was necessary for Ren to make peace with the memory with his father, so we called Harrison The Janitor because he allowed Ren to clean up, at least spiritually, some of the mess he'd made."
Terrio recalled that the inspiration for the aliases for the characters came from conversations they would have in public that would ultimately end up on the internet.
"We would use codenames for the characters, or just call them by the first letter of their name," the writer confessed. "At one point J.J. and I were discussing some ideas in a bar in Oxford. He'd just given a talk at the uni there, and the very next day some of the contents of our conversation wound up on the internet. We realized we had to be a little more careful."
Harrison Ford's appearance took audiences largely by surprise, due not only to the fact that his character was killed in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but also due to the fact that Ford had been hoping to depart the franchise all the way back to the early '80s in the aftermath of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Given the passing of Carrie Fisher in 2016, Leia Organa's role in the new film was limited, resulting in Ben Solo's other parent coming in to offer the character some resolution to his development.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.
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