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George Lucas helped find the ending of the Skywalker saga, says JJ Abrams

By Alexis Sottile
Emperor Palpatine: Return of the Jedi

As R.E.M. once said, "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." In this case it's the end of the world as we've known it since 1977, when Star Wars Episode IV first told us it was a dark time for the rebel alliance, and the far-ranging, 42-year-spanning Skywalker Saga first scrolled through our cinematic universe's starry firmament. But we should feel fine as we look toward Star Wars: Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment in the series, to come this December. Because if having J.J. Abrams at the helm were not already reassuring enough, Abrams has just revealed, in an interview with IGN at Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019, that he had help in crafting the saga's conclusion from the "I am your father" of Star Wars himself: Mr. George Lucas.

"This movie had a very, very specific challenge," said Abrams, "which was to take eight films and give an ending to three trilogies, and so we had to look at 'What is the bigger story?' We had conversations amongst ourselves, we met with George Lucas before writing the script." Abrams went on to say that he and his team worked very hard to create a film that worked on its own as a standalone yet maintained a world wherein a child of today could still watch Episodes I through IX anew and see a whole continuing story.

For more on his collaboration with his team members, check out IGN's video below:

So, is Lucas the one who suggested Palpatine's return? It's well known by now that the laugh at the end of the new trailer is certainly his, highlighted by Ian McDiarmid's appearance on stage at Star Wars Celebration just after the trailer—and that laugh—concluded. We may not know the answer to who suggested Palpatine until much closer to the film's debut, if at all. In the meantime we can only give a hearty John-Williams-theme-music welcome to our old rebellion nemesis and look forward to what Rey and the others will do once they meet him. And if, somehow, you haven't yet heard that cackle echoing across the galaxy, check out the trailer below:

And now for some classic SYFY Wire reactions: