'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker': Inheriting The Past, Ending A Trilogy Of Trilogies & More

It hasn't even been one week since we saw the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode 9, which revealed the perplexing and exciting title of The Rise of Skywalker. Since then, fans have been abuzz with theories about what the title means, but they've also been wondering just how this chapter will end the Skywalker saga, especially considering that shocking, menacing laugh from the end of the teaser trailer.

Unfortunately, director J.J. Abrams isn't being too forthcoming with details, but as we sparse through various interviews conducted during Star Wars Celebration, there are some nuggets of hints to be found. The same can be said for interviews with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Find out what Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker details come out of these conversations below.

Sins of the Father

During an interview with Steele Wars, J.J. Abrams offered up a touch of the thematic elements that will be in play when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters later this year:

"The ultimate challenge of the movie was making something that's a standalone movie, that's hopefully a thrill ride, an emotional story, surprising, fun, scary, heartbreaking, everything. But also [it needed to be] something that is, in a way, inheriting everything that's come before. It's very much what the characters are going through in the movie. It's about a new generation dealing with the good and the bad of what's come before. Sins of the father, but also the accomplishments, the achievements. What wisdom has been imparted? How do you deal with something that is as terrifying as what they do? That, to me, is the power of Star Wars, that you can tell stories like that."

While some might take that chatter about "dealing with the good and the bad of what's come before" as a hint at righting the "wrongs" of The Last Jedi, we're pretty sure J.J. Abrams is talking about how the pasts of both the Empire and the Rebel Alliance, as well as the Jedi and the Sith, have an impact on what is going on with our characters today.

Surely, it's not a coincidence that components of the Galactic Empire in Star Wars were inspired by Nazis during World War II. Then 30 years after the Empire was believed to be defeated, there's a resurgence of what the Empire used to be within the First Order, bringing with a reinvigorated sense of confidence and ambition.  Can you think of another institution dealing with a resurgence like that today? Hmm.

This Isn't Game of Thrones or Marvel Studios

Kathleen Kennedy also caught up with Steele Wars, and in discussing the challenge of developing a new Star Wars trilogy, she explains exactly why this is so much more difficult to craft than some of the other popular franchises out there today. Kennedy said:

"We knew that George had always envisioned this three-act structure of these three trilogies. But George didn't leave any anything more than a blueprint and certain characters that we've known and loved from the previous movies. [But now we have] the new characters created J.J. in The Force Awakens. So that's really the challenge. We don't have source material. We don't have 800-page books that we're adapting. We don't even really have comic books. We have an idea. We have a mythology that George Lucas created. And from that, we bring incredibly talented people like J.J. into the process [along with] our story group up at Lucasfilm. We talk, just the same way I'm sure fans talk, about what's meaningful, what we wish for, what we hope happens with the characters. It's an evolutionary process of storytelling."

At the end of the day, that's what makes the Star Wars universe so unique. You have a variety of voices all telling stories within this universe. And with this latest trilogy, you have two different filmmakers trying to create some kind of next chapter for this primary saga, but also tying into the universe at large. We must remember that people like J.J. Abrams, Rian Johnson, and Kathleen Kennedy are Star Wars fans themselves who are trying to tell a story that is satisfying to themselves as fans, but also the audience out there waiting for these stories. Not everyone is going to like what happens with these characters, but that's the risk you take with following a franchise where you have no idea where it's going.

The End of a Saga

As for where The Rise of Skywalker ends up, obviously no one is going to spoil how all this concludes. Abrams is staying the most vague about details, constantly saying, "I can't wait for you to see it" as his go-to deflection. But after a bit of stumbling, he added, "It's a third act that I think – and we're literally cutting it right now – is a pretty exciting chunk of the movie."

Meanwhile, Kathleen Kennedy was a little more forthcoming. When asked how Kathleen Kennedy in 2015 would have felt about the ending of this movie (and saga), she said, "I'm incredibly moved. Let me put it this way, it's where I hoped it would go."