The Force was strong tonight in Los Angeles at the El Capitan Theater as the light side — and maybe some of the dark side — gathered for the world premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Stars of the final installment of the Skywalker saga including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, Mark Hamill as well as newbies in the Star Wars universe walked the “blue carpet” to celebrate the end of one saga that could possibly lead to some new stories.
“Without giving away specifics about the story, I would say our goal was to tell a story that feels like the inevitable conclusion of these nine films,” director J.J. Abrams told Deadline at the premiere. “Obviously any end resonates and feels strong — and possibly opens doors to other stories, but this was very much designed as the end of the saga.”
Screenwriter Chris Terrio, who co-wrote the movie with Abrams agreed to the sentiment and adds that The Rise of Skywalker “gives you a glimpse of how huge, varied and interesting the galaxy is so hopefully it at least tonally reminds you of what makes Star Wars, Star Wars.”
He continued, “We go to different worlds in this movie we haven’t been to before; we discover different technology and different ways the Jedi exists and use the Force. There are all kinds of ways that, even while the story is ending, at least suggest various places where future stories might go.”
Terrio said that there are deliberate seeds that were planted to tease future stories because Abrams and him wanted to “make this movie work and make it as good as it can be”. Even so, he said that fans are savvy and smart enough to connect the dots for the franchise’s future.
“I am sure they will find little seeds of different things in this film that will suggest other parts of the galaxy where we might go,” he said. “There’s no specific plan, but when we watch the movie, sometimes there are scenes where you think ‘I might want to spend more time in that world’.”
It is certain that the Star Wars world will live on. Whether or not they will include Rey, Finn, Poe, Rose, Kylo and the rest of the third trilogy gang, is up in the air, but the franchise certainly is alive and well with Disney+’s The Mandalorian, which takes place after Return of the Jedi and before The Force Awakens. With that and previous movies like Rogue One and Solo, there is plenty of story to explore in different time periods among the trilogies.
Despite David Benioff and D.B. Weiss exiting the new trilogy that was supposed to launch in 2022, it apparently isn’t off the table. It was also announced that Kevin Feige is developing a Star Wars movie of his own and Rian Johnson, who directed The Last Jedi is still in the mix for another intergalactic story.
Characters from the original trilogy have been a touchstone for the entire franchise as characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo will continue to live on alongside the new guard. This includes fan-favorite Chewbacca who has appeared in all three trilogies.
Originally played by the late Peter Mayhew, actor Joonas Suotamo is now carrying the torch of the loyal and dedicated fighter — who is also cuddly. Whether or not he will return in future movies or TV series is up in the air. Suotamo told Deadline that if Chewy does return, it has to be for a good reason.
“Chewbacca is so beloved and so important that his appearance has to be warranted,” said Suotamo. “It’s such a powerful character that I would hate for him to be used in a careless manner — he’s so precious.”
Another character who has appeared in all three trilogies is Supreme Chancellor Palpatine (aka The Emperor) played by the talented stage actor Ian McDiarmid. Palpatine is one of the evilest villains in cinematic history — and he is alive in Rise of Skywalker. If he can seemingly return from his deadly fall in Return of the Jedi, we may even get to see him beyond this final chapter. If not him, then definitely someone who will continue his evil legacy.
“The Sith don’t go away that easily so I think in all movies, there will always inevitably be traces of the Sith,” assures McDiarmid.
After three trilogies, McDiarmid is happy that Palpatine’s malevolence hasn’t rubbed off on him. “I haven’t turned into a monster — some of my friends might disagree with that — so I managed to reserve my sanity,” laughs McDiarmid.
Legend Billy Dee Williams also returns to the fold as the suave Lando Calrissian, who has been a fan favorite since his appearance in The Empire Strikes Back. “I think what people enjoy about Lando is that he is really handsome,” Williams told Deadline with a smile. “He’s a swashbuckling, bigger-than-life rogueish, fun individual.”
When asked if we could expect more Lando in the future, Williams didn’t say much, but he said his charm will “absolutely” live on beyond The Rise of Skywalker. Even so, he assured, “There’s only one Lando.”