J.J. Abrams Says Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Ending Was 'Most Challenging' Work He's Ever Done

J.J. Abrams of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019
J.J. Abrams of 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2019
Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

While Star Wars fans await the release of the franchise's newest installment, December's The Rise of Skywalker, they've gone wild with theories on how the final film in the Skywalker saga will conclude. The movie's title alone has sparked speculation that Luke Skywalker could be a Force Ghost or that we could see a possible return of Anakin Skywalker.

And apparently, director J.J. Abrams has felt the pressure to make it the best installment ever. As reported by ComicBook.com, the cast of the film spoke with the Star Wars YouTube channel, where the seasoned director reflected on his work.

"It’s been a gift to work with these people again," Abrams said. "To get to deal with these characters again. I didn’t think that was going to happen for me. This ending, which is such an important thing for all of us, by far, has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever worked on."

While Abrams is no stranger to the world of directing, or even a galaxy far, far away, having already helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it's not hard to believe that this film is in a whole other league. Since Mark Hamill's debut as Luke Skywalker in the first installment in 1977, the Star Wars fandom has only grown more and more by the years. We're looking forward to seeing what Abrams has up his sleeve when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20.

Apple Reportedly Won't Let Movie Bad Guys Use iPhones

Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, K Callan, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Ana de Armas, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Rian Johnson's Knives Out (2019).
Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, K Callan, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Ana de Armas, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Rian Johnson's Knives Out (2019).
Claire Folger © 2018 MRC II Distribution Company L.P. All rights reserved.

Like any good whodunit, Knives Out (2019) is filled with twists that keep viewers guessing who the true villain is throughout the film. But there's a major clue as to who the good guys and bad guys are hidden in plain sight. To spot it, just look at what type of smartphone the characters are holding.

As Knives Out writer and director Rian Johnson revealed in a recent video for Vanity Fair, Apple won't let an iPhone appear on film if it belongs to a villain. "I don't know if I should say this or not," Johnson said. "Apple, they let you use iPhones in movies[...]but bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera[...]Every single filmmaker who has a bad guy in their movie that's supposed to be a secret wants to murder me right now." You can listen to the tidbit at the 2:50-minute mark in the video below.

Apple has long used product placement in movies and television shows to promote its brand. There's even reportedly an employee at Apple whose job it is to work with Hollywood to get MacBooks and iPhones into the hands of characters on screen. The ubiquity of Apple gadgets in media means the lack of one could be a legitimate spoiler in a murder mystery. Apple has also been tight-lipped about its product placement rules, making Johnson's revelation an especially juicy insight.

If you're looking for more film secrets, check out these hidden messages in the backgrounds of your favorite movies and TV shows.

[h/t The Next Web]

The Office Children's Book Is Coming to Introduce Your Kids to Dunder Mifflin

The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary is coming from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in October.
The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary is coming from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in October.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Amazon

Thanks to constant TV reruns and easy access via Netflix, The Office hasn't lost any of its popularity since airing its series finale in 2013. Now the beloved sitcom is about to be introduced to a whole new audience that (fortunately) isn't old enough to understand what Michael Scott means when he says "That's what she said." As Entertainment Weekly reports, a new book for kids, The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary, is debuting later this year.

While it might be hard to imagine how a children's book all about Dunder Mifflin would work, now that we're getting a glimpse at it, it seems like the best idea ever. A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary will introduce your little ones to all your favorite paper company employees—though they won't be the same Jim and Pam we all know so well. In this book, the illustrated characters are all school-aged.

The 40-page book is written by Robb Pearlman, author of Bob Ross and Peapod the Squirrel, Pink is for Boys, and Star Trek: Fun with Kirk and Spock, and illustrated by Melanie Demmer, who works on the My Furry Foster Family series. Though the book is intended for kids ages 4 to 8, you can be sure that we'll be reading it, too.

The Office: A Day at Dunder Mifflin Elementary won't be hitting stores until October 6, 2020, but you can preorder your copy for $18 on Amazon now. And if you're looking for more Office collectibles that are available right now, head here.

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