The interviews surrounding The Rise of Skywalker keep making the rounds, and this time Rolling Stone gives us an inside look at the mind of Chris Terrio, J.J. Abram’s co-writer for the final Skywalker installment. Terrio, of Argo fame, spoke about finding the balance between finding inspiration from other canon materials, and creating an independent storyline akin to the other main saga films.
“While there are times you want to go off on a tangent and explore something that is a more obscure, esoteric corner of the galaxy, you also want to stay true to George Lucas’ original idea, which is that the story just has to be shot out of a rocket and keep going,” Terrio told Rolling Stone. He mentioned The Clones Wars, Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series, and Timothy Zahn’s novels as “really great” Star Wars material. And goodness knows I would love to see Ransolm Casterfo in Episode IX.
But he has a point – including extra material would be fun for fans who dig into the expanded canon but may isolate more casual moviegoers in the audience. Besides, we only have roughly 2.5 hours to work with, simply not enough time to bring in many new elements.
Terrio gave a little insight to the story building process as well. The two started with a blank slate and blank white boards, coming in every day and putting up new ideas, until a 121-page Word document existed with all sorts of worlds, scenarios, character arcs, the whole gamut. Personally, I would kill to see that page after Episode IX is released.
“We acted like two kids who came in every day and were like, OK, here’s the thing that I wish I could see in the last Star Wars.” And eventually it became a process of elimination, saving only the strongest ideas for the final film.
The pair took extra care in every decision they made, keeping in mind that everything in the film would become official canon. Terrio said it drove every sort of decision, from characters to themes to the plot. They were both mindful of making sure what they created felt like Star Wars. “Because the story has seeped into all of our lives so deeply that you always have a gauge of what feels like it’s the right thing and what doesn’t,” he elaborated.
Abrams and Terrio met with George Lucas himself, and had a “philosophical discussion about the nature of the Jedi and the nature of the Force,” teasing what we already suspected – the new movie will delve into parts of the Force and of the Jedi that we’ve never seen on the big screen. Maybe, for example, how Emperor Palpatine is making his highly anticipated reappearance.
Of course, Rolling Stone asked Terrio about another hot topic – Rey’s past. How did they handle it, considering what we learn in The Last Jedi? Terrio presented the idea of “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis…If Force Awakens asks the question of who Rey is and where does she come from, and then The Last Jedi answered it with a negative in a certain way, hopefully The Rise of Skywalker will take those two ideas and create a third thing.”
Of course, with a fan base so large and so diverse, finding an answer that will please everyone is nearly impossible. We have to trust these experienced writers to bring us together in the final Skywalker installment. There are so many questions and theories, so hopefully these two can bring us answers.
What are your favorite Rise of Skywalker theories? What answers do you hope to find? Let us know in the comments!
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