The co-writer of The Rise of Skywalker has insisted the final scene was for thematic reasons as opposed to branding. Spoilers ahead.
Since its release, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has received criticism regarding its final scene. That scene, along with the film as a whole, served as the conclusion to the saga that began with 1977’s Star Wars (now Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope).
Co-writer Chris Terrio, the scribe behind Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, responded to reactions from moviegoers. The scene saw Rey (Daisy Ridley) visit Luke Skywalker’s abandoned home on Tatooine and disown her Palpatine heritage before adopting the Skywalker name. According to Terrio, crafting this scene had nothing to do with branding.
The Rise of Skywalker was supposed to conclude the four-decade-long arc of the Skywalker Saga, but the film left the door open for successors to the Skywalker name. Fans contended that the ending of the J.J. Abrams headliner brought about a new beginning for that lineage. Terrio, who insisted he had no awareness of any plans by Disney while writing, told Awards Daily:
“I don’t have any additional insight into that than you do, honest to God.”
“For us, the resonance of the name Skywalker was just purely a thematic one.”
Before and after the release of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there was speculation that Supreme Leader Snoke had some ties to Rey and that she was related to the Skywalker line. However, those rumors were gradually refuted. Terrio added:
“It wasn’t an attempt to brand something in the universe. J.J. [Abrams, director and co-writer] and I had a post-it that read, ‘You don’t discover who you are. You create it.’ So much of this film is about discovery and creating who you are through that discovery. It’s purely for thematic reasons that we included who is a Skywalker at the end of the film.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which closes the Sequel Trilogy that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, stars the late Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Adam Driver, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Kelly Marie Tran and Billy Dee Williams. J.J. Abrams directed from a screenplay co-written by Chris Terrio. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan produced for Bad Robot and Lucasfilm. Walt Disney Studios distributed. Episode IX is in theaters now.