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J.J. Abrams has spoken with EW about how it felt to bring the curtain down on The Skywalker Saga.

“Endings are the thing that scare me the most,” admits J.J. Abrams, which means co-writing and directing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker must have been at least a little terrifying.

“This is about bringing this thing to a close in a way that is emotional and meaningful and also satisfying in terms of actually answering [as many] questions as possible,” Abrams tells EW in its November issue. “So if years from now, someone’s watching these movies, all nine of them, they’re watching a story that is as cohesive as possible.”

That said, Abrams noted that in writing the film (along with Chris Terrio), the filmmaker left room for inspiration and the unexpected. “While there were many things that were planned for and discussed — George Lucas himself said when he created this he saw it as three, three-act plays — that doesn’t mean there isn’t discovery, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that come up that make you realize, ‘Oh, here’s an opportunity,’” adds Abrams, who returned to helm the final Skywalker Saga chapter after directing 2015’s The Force Awakens. “It also doesn’t mean that there’s a list of payoffs that we have to do because of setups. But we also were very much aware this is the end of the trilogy and it needs to satisfy. We went into this thing knowing it has to be an ending. We’re not screwing around.”