Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio wishes the movie was split into two parts. With the film serving as the finale to not only the sequel trilogy, but the entire Skywalker saga, it would be an understatement to say The Rise of Skywalker had a lot on its plate to take care of. Writer/director J.J. Abrams and Terrio looked to tackle an abundance of story threads, including the surprise return of main villain Emperor Palpatine. Fittingly, Abrams was aiming to give the saga an epic conclusion, but the general feeling is that The Rise of Skywalker is too overstuffed for its own good.

Abrams packed a plethora of information into the film, explaining Supreme Leader Snoke’s origins, teasing Finn’s big secret, revealing the true nature of Rey’s parentage, and hinting at Lando Calrissian’s long-lost family (among other things). In some cases, the filmmakers rushed through key elements, failing to give them the proper time to fully develop. An argument can be made there’s enough in The Rise of Skywalker to support multiple movies, and that’s apparently something Terrio was interested in early in development.

Speaking with Awards Daily, Terrio talked about the process of writing The Rise of Skywalker and revealed there were “initial discussions” about splitting the film in two. That idea never made it past the preliminary stages, but it’s clearly something Terrio would have liked to do if he had the opportunity:

Throughout the 2010s, a number of pop culture franchises employed multi-part finales. The trend was most notable in young adult adaptations (like Harry Potter and Twilight) earlier in the decade, but more recently Marvel Studios pulled one off with Infinity War and Endgame. That decision obviously paid off in spades (both critically and commercially), so it’s worth wondering if Disney would have been willing to go the same route for Star Wars if Abrams and Terrio opted to seriously advance their conversation. It’s curious Lucas’ words are being used as the reasoning for condensing The Rise of Skywalker into one film; Lucas always fluctuated on the complete length of the saga. There were times he believed it’d have 12 installments, and after Revenge of the Sith, he proclaimed there’d never be an Episode VII. If another movie was required to tell the story, few would have complained.

“If there were a way of doing it, splitting it would have been my dream. We could have written these characters forever. There was so much backstory that had to be left by the wayside. I wish that we could have that, but George always said it was nine movies. 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 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.”

From a business sense, Disney probably would have gone through with a two-part Rise of Skywalker because they’d have yet another potential $1 billion blockbuster on their hands. And it might have helped the film artistically, giving Abrams and Terrio more space to allow certain plot points to breathe so they were fleshed out and landed with a greater impact. Even something as major as how Palpatine came back from his presumed death is skimmed over (paying minimal lip service to the prequels as an explanation), and other key plot points were relegated to Fortnite and Galaxy’s Edge. The Rise of Skywalker is clearly a movie that needed more screen time to unpack everything, and it’s arguably a shame things were rushed.

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Source: Awards Daily