J.J. Abrams has revealed to The New York Times that he is hesitant about how Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be received, knowing that he’s “never been great at endings.” The Episode VII director and co-writer never even anticipated his return to the franchise, much less to wrap up the trilogy he started. Abrams admitted of himself: "I know how to begin a story. Ending a story is tough."

When it was announced that Abrams would be stepping in as director for Episode IX, certain members of the cast were overjoyed to the point of tears. "I cried," admitted Daisy Ridley, who plays Jedi-in-training Rey. She explained that the director brought a sense of "structure and security". John Boyega, AKA rebel Stormtrooper Finn, has been vocal about his "iffy" opinions on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. He shared that he was looking forward to Abrams finishing the story he started in The Force Awakens. “Even as a normal person in the audience, I wanted to see where that story was going,” Boyega said.

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Knives Out director Rian Johnson helmed The Last Jedi, which saw its characters separated as they struggled on their own personal journeys. Oscar Isaac, who plays rebel sharp-shooter Poe Dameron, confessed that filming those scenes was "difficult". Said Isaac: “The characters were very frustrated, and it felt that way." Abrams had his own take on Episode VIII, feeling that while it was "full of surprises and subversion and all sorts of bold choices," it also was "a bit of a meta approach to the story." With the subtlest of shade, he continued, "I don’t think that people go to Star Wars to be told, ‘This doesn’t matter.’” With so many cliff-hangers and questions hanging in the air post-Episode VIII, it only seems fitting that Abrams is the one to resolve them.

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

Gallery — New Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Photos: