If 2015’s highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens was essentially one long homage to A New Hope, the approach certainly made sense after the franchise’s decade long absence from the big screen. Before the saga moved onto the divisive new territory of The Last Jedi, it feels like writer-director J.J. Abrams set out to prove that he could ‘do Star Wars right’ – that is to say, do it in a way that stayed faithful to the old movies. But now, three years, two episodes, and two spinoff flicks later, the filmgoing public is far more adjusted to the idea of this space saga being back on our screens, which perhaps frees Abrams up to do things a little differently in next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX.
That’s one way of interpreting this recent statement from actor Oscar Isaac, telling IndieWire that things feel looser on the set for this upcoming trilogy-closer.
“The way they’ve been shooting it right now is looser than it’s been for the last two times. It does feel like a relief to get on set and feel like, ‘Oh, we can try things.’ It’s a testament to J.J. coming back and feeling confident. There’s less pressure for it to be right. We just want to make a good movie and have a really good time while doing it.”
Of course, after the commercial disappointment of Solo: A Star Wars Story and the fan backlash received by The Last Jedi, you could ague that there’s a whole lot of pressure on Episode IX to get things right. With Disney already confirming plans to slow down their Star Wars output after this next release, you have to wonder how it could effect this property’s future if Abrams’ film failed to live up to expectations, at least on a commercial level.
In any case, the film is still well over a year from release, giving us plenty of time to speculate on what Isaac, Abrams, and the rest of the team are coming up with on the set. And with production for Star Wars: Episode IX recently extended another two months, it seems that the sequel still has some journey ahead of it before it hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.