J.J. Abrams has revealed he met with George Lucas before writing began on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This has led to immediate speculation that Lucas was the one to help bring Emperor Palpatine back into the Star Wars franchise on the big screen. Lucas famously dismissed 2015's The Force Awakens for being a "retro" movie, though he later apologized for his comments and admitted he didn't have any real input in the movie, noting they're "not going to do what I want them to do," and that he would "muck it up" anyway. Lucas did come to the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story to visit Ron Howard and helped out on a scene.
The Rise of Skywalker was never going to be an easy movie to make. No Star Wars movie or project is and they come with a lot of pressure with over 40 years of fans waiting to pick apart each frame. With that being said, the upcoming movie is the last installment in the beloved Skywalker saga, so J.J. Abramsfelt he needed to go to the man who created the whole thing to begin with. When asked about the return of Emperor Palpatine, Abrams had this to say.
"This movie had a very, very specific challenge, 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. These were things that were in real, not debate, but looking at the vastness of the story and trying to figure out, what is the way to conclude this? But it has to work on its own as a movie, it has to be its own thing, it has to be surprising and funny and you have to understand it."
It's not clear what J.J. Abrams and George Lucas spoke about or what the iconic Star Wars director brought to the table for The Rise of Skywalker. However, since Abrams brought the director up after being asked about Emperor Palpatine, one might think Lucas had a hand in bringing the villain back to help tie everything together. Palpatine's voice was heard in The Force Awakens and Luke Skywalker briefly spoke about him in The Last Jedi.
While we don't know what George Lucas did to help on The Rise of Skywalker, the director must be thrilled that he was asked to be involved. This is an important piece to this puzzle and it's the last installment in something Lucas created, so why not have him on board? After the movie hits theaters and has been picked apart by hardcore Star Wars fans, J.J. Abrams or Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will more than likely reveal what Lucas had to say before the writing began.
So far, the response has been generally favorable for The Rise of Skywalker trailer, which was released late last week. Luke Skywalker's narration giving way to the iconic laugh of Emperor Palpatine excited many fans and then started an avalanche of questions to which we won't know the answer to until the end of the year. With that being said, hopefully some Star Wars fans will be excited for the fact that George Lucas was consulted with before writing on The Rise of Skywalker even began. The interview with J.J. Abrams was originally conducted by IGN.