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J.J. Abrams Plans To Reference The Prequels In Star Wars: Episode IX

J.J. Abrams has been quoted as saying that Star Wars: Episode IX will help unify all three trilogies, and that his threequel will be filled with surprises.

J.J. Abrams is about to go full circle.

Having resurrected the dormant Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens, and collected a pretty penny at the box office ($2.06 billion), Abrams will soon return to Lucasfilm’s galaxy far, far away in order to helm the as-yet-untitled Episode IX.

It’s still a full two years out, after the Powers That Be decided to push their Star Wars threequel to lend Abrams and Chris Terrio (Justice League) additional time on the script, but that has in no way quelled our excitement. If anything, we’re now even more curious to see how J.J. Abrams brings the curtain down on Lucasfilm’s current trilogy, and it seems we aren’t the only ones.

Per Star Wars News Net, Abrams recently spoke to the BBC about Episode IX and how it’ll differ from The Force Awakens. Two years ago, the director’s reboot caught a lot of flak for borrowing story elements from A New Hope – the dogged Resistance, the spherical superweapon, the trench run…you name it – but here, J.J. Abrams vows to “go elsewhere.”

Well, it’s certainly something that I’m aware of now working on Episode IX – coming back into this world after having done Episode VII. I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids, loving what these movies were. And at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven’t gone, and that’s sort of our responsibility. It’s a strange thing – Michael’s worked on things like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek and Star Wars, and these are the things of dreams. Yet we can’t just revel in that; we have to go elsewhere.

That’s an interesting quote in itself, as it tells us that Abrams and Terrio will make a conscious effort to venture off the beaten track. Not only that, but one Reddit user recently crossed paths with the creative duo (he included a photograph as proof), who purportedly revealed that Episode IX will help unify all three Star Wars trilogies.

They said that they’re going to be brave and there will be big surprises. I got the impression that JJ felt like he had to refresh previous Star Wars moments for a modern audience in TFA, and now it feels like they have free reign to do what they want. Apparently they’ve had no interference from Kathleen or Pablo or the Lucasfilm Story Group. 9 is also the film which unites all three trilogies and brings everything together. That’s all they would tell me.

However, the Reddit user known only as ‘114D’ did stress that his questions were a little too leading, in the sense that they prompted the answers we so desire. Still, it looks certain that Episode IX will at least make some reference to the prequels.

I worry a little bit that the questions I was asking were too leading. I was speaking to Chris and he was talking about the OT. I said about how I grew up with the PT and the prequels were my entry point into Star Wars. I asked about elements of the PT coming into 9 and Chris said about how 9 unites all of it. He said 9 definitely makes it feel like they’re all happening in the same universe, and there would be PT elements in 9. They could be visual or thematic – he didn’t overtly say that there would be returning planets or characters from the PT or anything.

Beyond The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: Episode IX will see a release on December 20th, 2019.

About the author

Michael Briers