If you’re a Star Wars fan, you undoubtedly know that the second film in the sequel trilogy — Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) — was divisive, at best. At worst, it brought out the most toxic aspects of the Star Wars fandom, even sending Rose Tico actress, Kelly Marie Tran, to therapy.
Now, legendary Star Wars novelist, Alan Dean Foster, has spoken out about his opinion of the eighth movie in the Skywalker Saga and has shared he found it to be a “terrible film.” In fact, Foster was ultimately inspired to retcon much of the story and rewrite Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) to better reflect what he — and many Star Wars fans — feel should have happened in the story.
Speaking with YouTube channel Midnight’s Edge, Foster shared:
“Episode VIII was out, it was a done deal. And, I went and saw it, and I thought it was a terrible film. I thought it was a terrible Star Wars movie, and there’s no need to go into why because every fan already has. I thought, ‘How can this be retconned? How can we fix as much as possible from Episode VIII in a proposed Episode IX?’ And I wrote a partial treatment for that, attempting in that storyline to explain a lot of the really silly things that happened in Episode VIII.”
Foster continued, stating that he knew Lucasfilm and Disney would not actually utilize his rewrites, but that he “did it for the fans”:
In his Episode IX treatment, Foster set out to explain why the untrained Rey (Daisy Ridley) “suddenly has more Force powers than anybody” after a brief visit to the watery planet of Ahch-To in The Last Jedi. “How can I explain that away? And can I somehow tie that into the fact that she was abandoned on her planet on Jakku and bring those two things together?”
Foster’s solution? To make Rey “part droid” to account for her ability to pick-up Jedi skills unnaturally quickly. He told Midnight’s Edge:
“That gives her the ability to learn remarkably quickly and also enhances her existing Force powers, and that’s how she can throw boulders around at the end of Episode VIII. Also, it allows her to be instantly simpatico with other droids. I thought this would be a really fun story element, as well as explaining why and how she’s able to do these remarkable things.”
Foster also rewrote Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) end, noting that he gave:
“…[Luke] a proper send-off at the end of Episode IX.”
In the theatrical release of The Last Jedi, Skywalker dies alone on Ahch-To after using the Force to project his likeness across the galaxy to the planet Crait in a bid to stop his nephew — Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo’s (Harrison Ford) son — Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) from destroying what is left of the Resistance. Foster, however, changed this:
“At the end of it [Foster’s version], there’s a big battle on Coruscant with the Emperor’s [Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid)] clones. I also manage to provide proper motivation for the character that they forced Boyega to fall in love with, I give her something proper to do that justifies her character [Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran)]. At the end of the film, Luke is dying under a tree, and Rey comes out. And Luke’s last words are ‘Aunt Beru,’ which brings the whole thing full cycle.”
“I don’t know. I tried, anyway. I tried.”
Foster did acknowledge that he very much liked the first film in the sequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), in which the Star Wars fan community first met Rey, Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and adorable droid BB-8.
his “will not ultimately enter the ” . ‘s future with installments is not yet known — it does, however, seem that plans for
Watch Alan Dean Foster’s full Midnight’s Edge interview below:
What do you think about Foster’s attempt to retcon much of the final episode of the Skywalker Saga?