Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio has revealed that there were a few conversations to split the picture into two parts, but they ultimately decided to go with George Lucas’ vision of a nine-movie saga.
The last movie in the Sequel Trilogy is currently playing in theaters and continuing to dominate box office charts. It would seem that fans are really enjoying Episode IX and its resolution to the story of Skywalkers as a whole, but many still criticize the feature for its convoluted plot and overwhelming exposition that they feel should’ve been addressed in previous movies. While director J.J. Abrams is adamant that his pic isn’t backtracking from The Last Jedi and its controversial choices, fans can’t help but wonder if many of the writers’ decisions were an attempt to correct the course of the story.
Be that as it may, it’s still a difficult challenge to conclude a 40-year-old narrative in a satisfying way. Many movie franchises like Harry Potter, Hunger Games and even Disney’s own Avengers split their last outing into two parts to avoid rushing the plot, and screenwriter Chris Terrio wishes that they could’ve done the same with The Rise of Skywalker.
When asked in a recent interview if they considered expanding the Sequel Trilogy into four movies, he said:
“I wish we could have done that. There is a lot of plot in the movie, and as a writer, you always want scenes to let the plot breathe more. If there were a way of doing it, splitting it would have been my dream.”
Terrio also admits that they could’ve done so much more with these characters and their backstories, but ultimately decided to stick to the wishes of George Lucas:
“I wish that we could have that, but George always said it was nine movies,” He added. “That was the natural size of the saga, and so, other than a few initial discussions, we never really advanced that conversation. Of course, as a writer, it breaks your heart to leave stuff on the table that you think would have given the story more depth and nuance and to give the characters more to do. Speaking for myself and not on the part of the studio, I do wish there could have been a Part 1 and a Part 2.”
While Star Wars usually doesn’t match the huge ensemble of characters found in superhero movies, the filmmakers had to deal with two-dozen prominent characters and conclude their journey in a fulfilling way. According to Terrio, this was a huge challenge:
“I think there are about 24 characters in The Rise of Skywalker. About 16 of those have fairly significant or traceable character arcs,” He said. “That’s not an easy task, obviously. You have to look to films like Robert Altman films for inspiration as to how you can keep track of them all. There will never be another film like this where you’re balancing so many characters and plot points that go back 42 years.”
But for better or for worse, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now and the consensus that keeps developing around the movie will determine the fate of a galaxy far, far away for many years to come.