By now it would be about two months since the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Episode VIII of Disney and Lucasfilm’s Star Wars sequel trilogy. It’s time in cinemas has been a matter of great contention, with great box office returns but also uproar from “traditional” franchise fans.
It may not be the intended effect, but perhaps having the director of 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX might help to take the edge off the hyper-critical corner of the fan base. J.J. Abrams, who also directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, is “excited” at spilling movie details.
For one thing, he’s definitely happy now to be returning to the franchise after what was originally a single directing job, though he has remained on the staff as producer for the other sequel installments. And he can hardly wait to get to work on the production.
“I’m actually going to be leaving this room and going right there,” Abrams tells online British newspaper The Independent. “I can’t wait for you to see what we’re doing.” This is no mere promotional talk. After he was tapped by Lucasfilm to do Episode IX after they let go of original director Colin Trevorrow, Abrams finds himself in a position to really follow up on elements he introduced in Episode VII.
Insiders at Lucasfilm have told a troubling narrative of work friction between the studio and Trevorrow, who directed Jurassic World in 2015. There was also an element of box office pragmatism in how he was fired by Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy following the flop of Trevorrow’s more recent personal film project The Book of Henry.
Interestingly, Abrams initially was not interested in returning to the director’s chair for another film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Still, when Lucasfilm called him back after Trevorrow’s departure, he jumped right in.
“When the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story,” noted Abrams last year, “it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in [Episode VII].”
Star Wars: Episode IX has not been given a descriptive title yet. Another Star Wars Story spin-off, Solo, is premiering this coming May.