Empire has been teasing some of its Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker content over the past few days, so in addition to the cool cover reveal, we now have two new shots from the film, as well as some insights from its Director, J.J. Abrams, and one of its writers, Chris Terio.

The first new image is of the Knights of Ren, who appear to be watching something sinister going down. In the article that featured this image, J.J. discussed what it was like picking up the reigns after The Last Jedi, which he didn’t write or direct. He comments on the divisive nature of the film, and some of the plot choices Johnson made that fans haven’t loved so much. Apparently, J.J. wouldn’t have made some of the choices Johnson did either, but he explains that he’s also not here to repair any of them either, because he understands what it’s like to work in a shared universe.

Abrams said:

“I never found myself trying to repair anything. If I had done VIII, I would have done things differently, just as Rian would have done things differently if he had done VII. But having worked on television series, I was accustomed to creating stories and characters that then were run by other people. If you’re willing to walk away from the thing that you created and you believe it’s in trustworthy hands, you have to accept that some of the decisions being made are not gonna be the same that you would make. And if you come back into it, you have to honor what’s been done.”

J.J. Abrams – EMPIRE

It’s a pretty woke statement, but one I’m sure angry Star Wars fans won’t buy as anything more than lip service. I tend to believe the guy, because he’s an artist after all, and he’s essentially saying, “Listen, artists have different visions, right or wrong, but I’m not going to sit here and shit on another one’s vision, or pretend like I fixed whatever fans didn’t agree with, because in the end artists think differently and we just have to roll with it.”

The next new image is of Mr. Ren, and it looks like he’s trying to not get sucked out an air lock, probably due to someone, or a group of people, escaping a Star Destroyer. This image was complimented by a quote from Chris Terrio, who commented on the intricacies of Rey and Ben’s relationship, and how further focus will be put on it in TROS.

Terrio said:

“We’ve tried to pick up that complicated relationship that really has been present ever since the interrogation in Episode VII. When Ren takes off his mask, there’s a nakedness about him with Rey that he doesn’t express to anyone else. Rian developed that in fascinating ways and we’ve been able to develop it even further.”

Chris Terrio – EMPIRE

I can’t disagree with him. The Kylo/Rey stuff provided some of the better dialogue and scenes in TLJ, and their bond is definitely a key aspect of this new trilogy, so I can’t wait to see how these two play things out in their final outing.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

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Matt is literally from a galaxy that is far, far away. Star Wars has consumed his life, and made him the geek that he is. He's no fan of the Prequels, but still loves the Maker. When he's not recording his unstable takes for the Star Wars Time podcast, he's either working on EntertainmentBuddha.com, taking pictures of Star Wars toys, or trying to legitimately wield the Force.