With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker right around the corner, anticipation is incredibly high. J.J. Abrams, who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens is back to work his magic. Now, that could be good or bad depending on who you ask. For Abrams, though, he believes The Rise of Skywalker has allowed him to go where no one has gone before. Sorry, wrong franchise. But, the same idea applies in the way he’s approached directing Episode IX.
In an interview with Total Film, J.J. Abrams says that he took a different approach than he did with The Force Awakens. Maybe it’s because he felt more comfortable coming back to a franchise he had already directed, or maybe Lucasfilm trusted him more than other directors (we know they’ve fired a lot of them at this point). Whatever it was, Abrams says he felt “freer” to do things differently.
For The Force Awakens, Abrams says, “It was about finding a visual language, like shooting on locations and doing practical things as much as possible. And we continue that in Episode 9, but I also found myself doing things that I’m not sure I would have been as daring to do on Episode 7.”
Abrams has become renowned for revitalizing older and beloved franchises. Love it or hate it, he did it with 2009’s Star Trek (which I liked). With Episode VII, though, a lot of people thought he played it too safe. On the other hand, Rian Johnson, who directed The Last Jedi, didn’t play it as safe. Naturally, he inspired Abrams to some more risks with the final film in the new trilogy.
“Rian helped remind me that that’s why we’re on these movies - not to just do something that you’ve seen before,” says Abrams. “I won’t say that I felt constrained or limited on 7, but I found myself wanting to do something that felt more consistent with the original trilogy than not. And on 9, I found myself feeling like I’m just gonna go for it a bit more.”
So, there you have it. Expect for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to be a bit more daring and ambitious than The Force Awakens was when it hits theaters December 20. As long as Finn, Poe, and Rose get a lot of love, then it’s all good.
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