J.J. Abrams Says The Last Jedi Didn’t Cause Any Problems For Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Because of the controversy surrounding it, there’s a myth around The Last Jedi that Rian Johnson’s bold Episode VIII must’ve royally screwed up Lucasfilm’s plans for Episode IX. J.J. Abrams has said multiple times, however, that he’s a big fan of the movie and it had no negative effects on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalkerwhich will finally be with us in just over a month.

The filmmaker has now reiterated this point in an interview with Esquire. Abrams explained that, if anything, Johnson’s narrative decisions aided TROS. For instance, he used the example that TLJ separated the characters as a plus because it meant they could bring all of the Resistance heroes together for Rise instead. In fact, we actually just got a hint at how fun it should be to have the team united in the recently released first clip from the movie.

“There were some choices that made things a bit more fun for us, because, for example, Rian didn’t have the whole group collaborative adventure of it together, and that was really fun to get to tell the story of the group, the droids, out on one breakneck, crazy, desperate adventure. You know?. The choices that he made for me were as a fan, as a reader of the script, a fan of his, a fan of Star Wars… it was just fun to read someone’s take that was so about surprising the viewer and it was just really entertaining, because it was, it got to surprise me nearly every time. So, I loved it for that.”

Abrams then went on to add that Johnson’s tactic of coming at the mythos from a fresh angle meant that it resulted in his crew having a lot left on the table to tackle in Rise and there were hardly any clashes between what he wanted to do and what Johnson had already done.

“As a filmmaker, working on Episode IX, amazingly, nothing that he did in Last Jedi got in the way of things that we had talked about wanting to do down the line, ideas that I had about where things might go, so… it wasn’t like his story somehow derailed the things I wanted to pursue. In fact, strangely, they might have even helped strengthen them because we got to make some choices that sort of take advantage of the fact that Rian hadn’t done the things that we were thinking about doing.”

The director previously revealed that he found one twist from The Last Jedi particularly hilarious. When he first read about the death of Snoke in the script, he laughed out loud. Fans might not have expected this, seeing as Abrams established the Supreme Leader as a serious threat in The Force Awakensonly for Johnson to unceremoniously kill him off in the next film, but it seems Abrams embraced his successor’s fearless attitude. He’s also said before that Johnson’s work encouraged him to take risks with Episode IX, the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters at last on December 20th.