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J.J. Abrams Weighs In on Divisive New ‘Star Wars’ Title: ‘I Know It’s Provocative’

"The Rise of Skywalker" has left many fans wondering if Abrams will retcon some of the decisions Rian Johnson made in "The Last Jedi."

"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Disney/Lucasfilm

Star Wars” fans got thrown a curveball on April 12 when Disney unveiled the long-awaited title to “Episode IX”: “The Rise of Skywalker.” The official title polarized many fans and sparked worry that director J.J. Abrams might be retconning some of the more controversial decisions Rian Johnson made in “The Last Jedi.” That film revealed Rey’s parents were nobodies, meaning she does not come from the Skywalker bloodline. Does “Rise of Skywalker” allude to Rey being a Skywalker after all? Abrams won’t say, although he does understand the title is a conversation starter.

“The title feels like it’s the right title for this movie, and I know that it’s provocative and asks a bunch of questions,” Abrams recently told ET Online. “But I think when you see the movie, you’ll see how it’s intended, what it means.”

Abrams continued, “In the flow of titles, this movie had a very weird responsibility. It had to be the end of not just three movies, but nine movies, and the idea of having to incorporate the stories that have come before strangely is the story of the movie. Which is to say it’s the characters in the film inheriting everything that’s come before in previous generations, whether it’s sins of the father, whether it’s the wisdom that they’ve acquired. And the question is this new generation, are they up to the task, can they stand up to what they have to? And so in a way, I feel like we coming into this movie have inherited a lot, and the question is can we do it? And that question we ask ourselves every day.”

It seems unlikely that “The Rise of Skywalker” would refute “The Last Jedi” to reveal Rey actually is related to Luke, as does Luke being resurrected and coming back to life. One popular theory is that Skywalker will become the new term for Jedi and thus the “Episode IX” title refers to a new generation of Force users rising up in the wake of Rey’s efforts to defeat the First Order. Another possibility is “The Rise of Skywalker” referring to Kylo Ren, who is the son of Leia and therefore the last member of the Skywalker bloodline still alive in the “Star Wars” universe.

Fans will find out the true meaning of “The Rise of Skywalker” when Disney opens “Star Wars: Episode IX” in theaters nationwide December 20.

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