Monday, November 18, 2019

JJ Abrams, Daisy Ridley, And More Tease 'The Rise of Skywalker' In New Interviews

By: Dominic Jones

We're just a couple of weeks away from the release of the final installment in the Skywalker Saga hitting theaters, and naturally the promotion for the film is starting to ramp up (although its nothing compared to what we'll likely see in December).  Director JJ Abrams, and stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Naomi Ackie, and Kelly Marie Tran have all done interviews in the past few days promoting the film.  We've compiled some of the most intriguing quotes about the film, and analyzed them below.

When asked by Entertainment Weekly to describe the film in just four words, Rey actress Daisy Ridley replied, "Definitely dark….There are bits that are genuinely scary. And sad. And joyful."

Dark, scary, sad, and joyful.  That about runs the full gambit of emotions, right there.  But then, that's exactly what we should expect from the finale of the trilogy.  There should be moments where the characters have their core beliefs challenged (dark), moments where we as the audience fear for their safety (scary), moments of loss and grief as nothing ever goes exactly as planned (sad), but ultimately all in service of a story that reminds us why we love these films (joyful).  We've even seen some moments that tease these emotions in the previews, like dark side Rey in the D23 footage or C-3PO taking one last look at his friends in the final trailer.

Speaking of Dark Rey, Ridley also spoke about filming that scene in an interview with Total Film.  She said of the scene, "It's f#$%ing awesome. I already had an amazing emotional story, but when [Darth Rey] was pitched, I was like, 'that sounds amazing.' It's fun to do something a bit different."

It almost sounds like the sequence was a late addition to the film, which would add credence to the theories that Rey does not actually turn to the dark side in the film and that what we saw in the preview was a vision of some kind.  Of course, that's just speculation.  We won't know for sure until the movie comes out.

Abrams, for his part, also spoke with Total Film and addressed whether or not there was a plan for the overarching plot of the sequel trilogy when he started working on The Force Awakens back in 2013.  He was also asked whether anything Rian Johnson did in The Last Jedi conflicted with that plan.

The director replied that there was a "loose plan", and that, "Nothing Rian was doing was undoing anything that I was thinking would happen."

There have lots of conspiracy theories about The Rise of Skywalker needing to undo The Last Jedi so Abrams could see his vision for the sequel trilogy through.  Turns out that (*mock surprise*) is not the case.

Newcomer to the saga, Naomi Ackie, meanwhile, made an appearance on the Jonathan Ross show in the UK.  She spoke about how here agent let her know she was auditioning for Star Wars, what it's like keeping the films secrets, and (surprise, surprise) if she's playing Lando's daughter.  The interview is a lot of fun and you can check it out below,

Her Chewbacca impression is pretty good!  And certainly better than the one Solo: A Star Wars Story star Emilia Clarke did while promoting that film last year.

We haven't seen a whole lot of Jannah in the previews yet, but when we do she's usually hanging around with Finn, played by John Boyega. Boyega spoke with Total Film about how Finn has changed since we last saw him in The Last Jedi.

Boyega said, "I don't know if Finn was fully confident in his position in VIII. IX is where you have Finn that now knows what team he fights for. There;s very interesting beats with Finn in terms of his relationships to other characters-there's an aura around him, a new kind of confident energy. He knows he has skills and the strengths to handle things."

It sounds like Finn is finally living up to the expectations Rose had for him as a Resistance hero when they first met.  Before she had to stun him for trying to desert.

Speaking of Finn and Rose, Kelly Marie Tran also spoke with Total Film about how the two's relationship will be addressed in the film.  Finn and Rose shared a kiss towards the end of The Last Jedi, after she saved for his suicide mission (that was going to fail).

Tran said, "People are going to find it really interesting how we've sort of evolved."

The supplemental material set between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, specifically the excellent novel Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse, have depicted the moment between Rose and Finn as just that, a moment.  Now, that novel takes place shortly after the last film ended, so there's a possibility that their relationship has evolved into something more romantic.  And honestly, I hope it has.  Those two deserve to be happy.

If you haven't seen the new trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker yet (or want to watch it again), you can do so below,

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.  The film is directed by JJ Abrams, with a script by Abrams and Chris Terio, and stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Joonas Suotamo, and Carrie Fisher.

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