With the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX, J.J. Abrams is set to not only finish what he started with 2015’s The Force Awakens, but also tie up the loose ends left by The Last Jedi while resolving the arcs of multiple Original Trilogy characters.
It’s a big job, to say the least, and in an interview with Fast Company, the director admitted to feeling some pressure. But on the bright side, the filmmaker argued that the limited time he had to create the Sequel Trilogy finale allowed his sense of spontaneity to stay intact, while preventing his ideas from being derailed by studio interference:
“I’m not complaining when I say this, but it was having to make decisions based on gut. When Damon Lindelof and I created Lost, we had essentially 12 weeks to write, cast, shoot, cut, and turn in a two-hour pilot with a big cast. And that was a crazy short amount of time.
“The benefit of that was, we didn’t have time to overthink. There wasn’t time to get studio notes that end up sometimes taking you in lateral positions and making you adjust things—death by a thousand cuts—to a place where something doesn’t resemble what it should be, and you can’t remember why you got there or how.”
Actor Oscar Isaac has previously recalled a “looseness and energy” on the set of Episode IX, claiming that the team was more willing to try new things than they were on the previous two installments. Abrams’ latest comments paint a similar picture, though in crafting the story of his next feature, there was one huge factor that he still had to take into account: The Last Jedi.
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Though there’s much debate over just how much Rian Johnson’s film diverted from Abrams’ original vision for the Sequel Trilogy, we can at least assume that the Knives Out helmsman was given a degree of creative freedom for his divisive 2017 flick. And according to Abrams, keeping his story in line with the events of The Last Jedi added further to the challenge of Episode IX.
“I had some gut instincts about where the story would have gone. But without getting in the weeds on episode eight, that was a story that Rian wrote and was telling based on seven before we met. So he was taking the thing in another direction. So we also had to respond to Episode VIII. So our movie was not just following what we had started, it was following what we had started and then had been advanced by someone else. So there was that, and, finally, it was resolving nine movies.
“While there are some threads of larger ideas and some big picture things that had been conceived decades ago and a lot of ideas that Lawrence Kasdan and I had when we were doing Episode VII, the lack of absolute inevitability, the lack of a complete structure for this thing, given the way it was being run was an enormous challenge.”
Nonetheless, Abrams’ work on Star Wars: Episode IX seems to have gone more or less according to schedule, and we could be just a few days away from seeing our first footage from the film. But regardless of what we learn from this week’s Star Wars Celebration, we still have most of the year to wait before the flick hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.
Source: Fast Company