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J.J. Abrams says Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be more 'daring' than The Force Awakens

"On this one," says Abrams, "I let myself be, at least in the way I was approaching the thing, freer."

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After The Last Jedi tore up the Star Wars rulebook and, to quote Kylo Ren, "let the past die," many have been concerned that returning director J.J. Abrams might take The Rise of Skywalker backward toward a more conservative view of the Star Wars universe. 

Which is understandable. Abrams' last Star Wars movie, as good as it was, definitely borrowed a lot of the beats and visual language of A New Hope. 

Thankfully, it looks like Abrams is taking more risks with The Rise of Skywalker. 

"On this one, I let myself be, at least in the way I was approaching the thing, freer," Abrams told Total Film

"I also found myself doing things that I'm not sure I would have been as daring to do on Episode 7."

Daring is a good word. The Last Jedi took a huge amount of risks and some fans pushed back on that. The worry with The Rise of Skywalker is that Abrams, who took very few risks with The Force Awakens, might have been brought on board to create a less risky conclusion to the latest Star Wars trilogy, so it's reassuring he's putting himself out there more with Episode 9.

The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters Dec. 19.