Kevin Smith was told the final shot of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will "melt your mind." With the summer movie season approaching its end, arguably the biggest release left on the 2019 calendar is Star Wars 9, the conclusion of the franchise's sequel trilogy and Skywalker saga. Director J.J. Abrams wrapped principal photography on the picture earlier this year and has since been hard at work on post, getting the film ready for its December premiere. In typical Lucasfilm fashion, plot details are being kept firmly under wraps, with only scant information available.
Within the Star Wars realm, nothing really matches the pressure The Force Awakens was under a few years ago, when it kicked off a new era for the franchise following Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm. That said, Star Wars 9 comes pretty close. This is the end of a story that's been ongoing for more than 40 years, and it needs to work in a way that satisfies a majority of fans. Time will tell how Abrams and company pulled off that gargantuan task, but it sounds like fans will be left reeling once the credits roll.
In an interview with IGN, Smith relayed an anecdote about what he was told regarding the movie's final scene. When visiting the Rise of Skywalker set last year, Smith caught wind of buzz about a particular set, and he was intrigued by what could be taking place. But Abrams convinced Smith to not watch the sequence being filmed, because it was the last shot of the movie. Abrams told his friend, "You want to be in a theater when this happens, trust me." Smith said afterwards some of the crew members wished they hadn't seen the shot.
Obviously, specifics of the shot are going to remain heavily guarded until December. So, fans are going to be left to their own devices trying to predict what exactly happens. While the Skywalker saga is full of iconic, memorable moments, very few of the last shots in the films could be considered mind-melting. The closest is arguably The Force Awakens, which ended with the image of Rey holding out the Skywalker lightsaber to a grizzled and weary Luke, epically setting the stage for The Last Jedi. If Smith's words are to be believed, Abrams may have outdone himself here and crafted something truly jaw-dropping. Since this will be the final installment in the Skywalker saga, it's understandable why Abrams would want to preserve spoilers for Smith. As tempting as it is to see the scene being shot, it's better to experience it with fresh eyes.
Abrams already did some mind-melting in regards to Star Wars 9 by surprising the Celebration Chicago crowd with the reveal that Emperor Palpatine is back for The Rise of Skywalker. That was a development few saw coming, so it'll be interesting to see what else he has up his sleeve. Clearly, Abrams did not take the responsibility of closing out the Skywalker saga lightly and did the best he could to swing for the fences. After The Force Awakens (understandably) played things a bit safe, it would be nice if Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker does the unexpected and leave fans floored by the end.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019