With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally making its way into theaters this weekend, fans will finally have the chance to see how this trilogy sequel wraps up. What will happen with Rey? Can Kylo be redeemed? And, perhaps most importantly, is there a post-credit scene? We're here to help answer that last one for those who are wondering if they may need to sit through the end-credits after the movie wraps up.
For those who might be concerned about spoilers, this post will not dig into any specifics about the movie itself. Unless one considers the answer to this question a spoiler, this is a safe place. So, does Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker contain a post-credit scene? No. The only reason fans need to stick around after the final scene rolls is if they wish to hear some of John Williams' iconic score played over the credits. Or if they want to kill some time while the crowded theater clears out. Beyond that, the end of the movie really is the end. And why wouldn't it be? There has never been a Star Wars Post-Credit scene attached to any of the previous movies.
Over the last decade or so, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made post-credit scenes standard practice for major blockbuster franchises. It's not just limited to comic book movies anymore, as Jurassic World and Jumanji, amongst others, have adopted the gimmick. So it's not unreasonable for fans to wonder if Star Wars would do the same, especially since Lucasfilm and Marvel are both owned by Disney. But Star Wars has largely stuck to tradition under the Disney era and haven't gone the post-credit scene route. They didn't change things up with Episode IX.
From the earliest days of this movie's production, director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm billed it as the end of the Skywalker saga. This is the end of the journey that George Lucas started back in 1977 with the original Star Wars. It's the conclusion of a nine-movie saga that has spanned more than four decades. In that way, it would feel a little wrong to have anything after or during the credits. It's not like the MCU where they are teasing something for the future. This is as close to a conclusion as we're likely to get in modern, franchise-obsessed Hollywood.
That's not to say Star Wars is going to end. Not at all. Outside of Disney+ shows like The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm is also developing future movies that will take place outside of the Skywalker saga. It hasn't yet been revealed what those projects will look like, or who will be behind them since Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss recently parted ways with their proposed trilogy, but a galaxy far, far away will live on. Just don't expect that future to be teased during the credits of this particular adventure. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters this weekend from Disney.
There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...