Star Wars’ Oscar Isaac denies that Rise of Skywalker is “walking back” The Last Jedi

Exclusive: "It's not necessarily walking it back, it's just evolving," the Poe Dameron star says

Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron (Disney, HF)

It’s fair to say that 2017 Star Wars movie The Last Jedi was pretty divisive, with a fair few fans declaring that Rian Johnson’s take on the universe ruined the franchise and killed off interesting storylines (though of course, far from everyone agrees).

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Now, sequel The Rise of Skywalker is here – and without giving anything away, many critics have noted that certain creative choices appear to be a direct response to this backlash, from the undoing of certain twists in Johnson’s narrative to the sidelining of Kelly Marie Tran’s character Rose Tico.

So is Rise of Skywalker trying to undo The Last Jedi? Well, not according to star Oscar Isaac, who told us that while he respects fan’s opinions, he doesn’t see Episode IX as any sort of Episode VIII rewrite.

“I don’t think I agree,” Isaac told RadioTimes.com. “Because it’s just continuing the story. It’s not necessarily walking it back, it’s just evolving.”

Referring to changes to certain character revelations, he continued: “Just because a character says one thing doesn’t mean that that’s the only perspective, or they’re necessarily telling the truth. You know?”

And, as Isaac noted, the different creative team behind Rise of Skywalker (director JJ Abrams with writer Chris Terrio) meant that necessarily it would feel fairly distinct from the film that came before.

“It happens also with different filmmakers, different writers,” he said.

“They take, they inherit it and make it their own.”

It seems unlikely that the great Last Jedi/Rise of Skywalker debate will end here, but for Isaac it mostly has, with the actor confirming that he has no immediate plans to bring his heroic X-Wing pilot Poe Dameron back for any future Star Wars projects.

And with Star Wars behind him, Isaac said he’ll most happily remember his time working with co-star John Boyega, who plays ex-stormtrooper-turned Resistance fighter Finn.

“I really loved working with John,” Isaac told RadioTimes.com.

“We just have a lot of fun together, always cracking up. And also just seeing him, his evolution from this young actor getting a chance of a lifetime and really taking that on in such a courageous way.

“I’ll really miss that,” he concluded.

Somehow, it seems unlikely he’ll miss the endless fan wars quite as much…

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Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is in UK cinemas now