Despite the fact that Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi has come and gone, the largely troll-driven conversation surrounding its accomplishments (or failings) still persists. Specifically, with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams returning to the fold for Episode IX, many are left wondering precisely how the third and final film of the latest Star Wars trilogy will respond to Johnson’s film. In a new interview with Fast Company, Abrams explained precisely what his response would entail, albeit without spoilers.
So how does he see taking the helm of Episode IX in a post-Last Jedi world? Thankfully, per his explanation, very clearly — and without reference to the internet’s garbage:
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.
In other words, it’s not about appeasing a very small vocal minority and retconning The Last Jedi. It’s about the big picture presented by all nine Star Wars saga films. “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,” added Abrams, who also noted that one of the more challenging-yet-freeing aspects of the job was its “lack of absolute inevitability.”
The director also admitted that he initially “wasn’t supposed to be there” and, when Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy asked him to take over for original director Colin Trevorrow, he almost said, “No, I’m not going to do this.” He actually said this to Katie McGrath, Bad Robot co-CEO and his wife, but she convinced Abrams otherwise.
(Via Fast Company)