THE RISE OF SKYWALKER’s Ending Was Planned From the Beginning

The new issue of Vanity Fair has a lot delicious morsels for Star Wars fans. The Rise of Skywalker is the topic of conversation, and it doesn’t disappoint: The Rey and Kylo covers, with their dueling sunrise and sunset, are beautifully on point, and the article is loaded with details about new characters, new planets, and new creatures. In addition to the cover story, the Vanity Fair website ran a number of breakout articles, and one of them contained a curious tidbit that should settle some arguments in the Star Wars fandom.

Yes, it turns out—contrary to some previously discussed information—that there was a plan for these episodic saga sequels from the beginning. Adam Driver confirms that Kylo’s story, for one, has always had a beginning, middle, and end. “An overall arc was very, not vague, the opposite, it was very clear—[there was] an end in sight even from the very beginning,” he told the magazine. “The details obviously hadn’t been worked out, but we had talked about the very thing that we’d been working towards with this last one.”

That doesn’t mean every aspect of the story was settled, but knowing Kylo—who, along with Rey, is the main character of this new trilogy—has had his storyline on lock from the first meetings for The Force Awakens means the story always had a general direction. Could the “rise” of the new film’s title even refer to him, the last surviving Skywalker along with his mother, Leia? Or does it refer to Rey, who could assume the title of Skywalker and forge the new Jedi Order under its significance? The covers do show the sun setting on Kylo and the sun rising on Rey, after all.

There are other things to contend with other than just Kylo’s fate, however. Rey’s parentage is another thing fans have debated for a while, with some assuming she truly is a nobody—as stated in The Last Jedi—and others assuming she must be a legacy character’s relative. Was that decision always set in stone? We don’t have a concrete answer, but Abrams praises The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson for taking the story in bold new directions, which he told Vanity Fair inspired his own filmmaking choices in The Rise of Skywalker.

“Having seen what Rian did made me approach this from a place of instinct and gut,” Abrams told the magazine. “I was making choices I knew I would not have made on VII, some story-wise, but more in terms of directing. I found myself feeling less like I’m going to try and do something that feels like it’s [only] true to the specifics of this franchise or the story.”

Because the two seem to be on the same wavelength, it’s possible they always were, and by design. After all, Daisy Ridley has said from the beginning that she knows who Rey’s parents are. We weren’t given concrete information in The Last Jedi, but it was inferred that Kylo read her mind when he called them “filthy junk traders.” Also remember that it was Rey herself who called them “nobodies.”

We love knowing the films will be cohesive in some way. And we can’t wait to see how Kylo’s story wraps up when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.

Images: Disney, Lucasfilm

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