The Sentimental Reason It Was So Hard to Write The Rise of Skywalker's Ending

The Rise of Skywalker is the final showdown for the Skywalker Saga.
The Rise of Skywalker is the final showdown for the Skywalker Saga.
Photo: Disney

This article will not spoil the ending of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We don’t know it (and wouldn’t tell you if we did!). Like most of you out there, we want to experience that in the theater. But, obviously, we’re intrigued by the idea of it, and at The Rise of Skywalker press conference in Los Angeles this week, co-writer Chris Terrio discussed the pressure to live up to that idea.

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“There was a moment in the process when we were [struggling] with something in the third act,” Terrio said at the event. “We were in a room with [producer] Michelle Rejwan and Kathy [Kennedy] and J.J. [Abrams] and I and we couldn’t get it. So we went outside the room and Rick Carter, the legendary production designer, said, ‘I think the reason you and J.J. can’t write this scene is because you don’t want Star Wars to end.’ And I looked at J.J. and we knew he was right and then we had to go and write it.”

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They didn’t want Star Wars to end. That sounds simultaneously ominous—and a little heartbreaking—but also understandable. Ominous, because whatever Terrio and Abrams were about to write apparently puts some kind of definitive, scary, closure on an aspect of Star Wars. “Understandable” because, while that’s what The Rise of Skywalker is supposed to do, as a fan, you don’t want to be the person who actually does it. Do you really want to be the person who killed Han Solo—which J.J. Abrams already, partially, is? So you get it. You’re scared to make something permanent but, if it works for the movie, you have to.

“I think both of us mourned the moment when we typed a character name for the last time,” Terrio continued. “The moment of joy that you have when you type ‘Lando’ and then some words underneath ‘Lando’ is something that is indescribable, but also the moment of sadness and longing you had the last time is memorable.”

We’ll find out what was so difficult on December 20 when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters. And check back in the coming days for much more from our interviews.


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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

I think at this point in the 42 years since the original release it’s a good time to put the main saga to a close. In creating what George Lucas and others did it gave Disney plenty of stuff to go forward with without having to circle back to Jedi, Sith, Death Stars, the Empire, etc, etc all the time. That’s not saying you can’t revisit those aspects from time to time it’s just not necessary for the future of live action Star Wars. The Mandalorian is proof of that. Yes, everything in the show is based on what came before it. But nothing in the show relies on any specific character or family that what came before it. It’s the first live action Star Wars that feels almost like it’s own thing.