J.J. Abrams recently spoke about the impact (or lack thereof) of fan response to Rian Johnson’s previous Star Wars film, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi and if it had any impact on his upcoming conclusion to the Skywalker saga. And from the sounds of it, it hasn’t had an impact on how J.J. approached the sequel.
When asked by ET Online if the way he approached Episode IX was affected by the way Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was received by some fans, Abrams responded with:
“No, I think that every movie is its own movie, and obviously this is a trilogy. We brought to that movie [Episode IX] all the passion and hard work that we would have no matter what. So I think the story speaks for itself. I really, truly can’t wait for you to see it.”
– J.J. Abrams
When Entertainment Tonight’s Ash Crossan asked Abrams what it was like working with Original Trilogy actor Billy Dee Williams, whom is returning as the lovable, smooth talking scoundrel we all know and love, Lando Calrissian, Abrams said: “He just had this aura around him. He’s really an incredible man and an incredible actor.” Though it has been said that Billy Dee Williams’ role in the upcoming film won’t be a large one. Supposedly acting as a Maz Kanata type role, pointing our heroes in the right direction.
That might come off as disappointing to some fans but be realistic, he is after all 81. He’s not going to be dashing about like he was in Episode V: Empire Strikes Back. Our favourite actors/actress age, that’s life unfortunately. We all must age.
The Episode IX director was also asked about how he hopes fans feel after seeing his conclusion to the Sequel Trilogy and the Skywalker Saga, to which he replied with:
“There are a lot of words that we all hope that you feel, and obviously the biggest, most important one I think is ‘satisfied.”
This news is going to be good for a lot of fans, but will be bad for some. As some fans want J.J. to distance his film as far away from Episode VIII as possible, even retcon it. It must be noted though, Abrams loved Johnson’s Script. Greg Grunberg, a friend of Abrams, who stars as the X-wing pilot Snap Wexley in The Force Awakens, says J.J. said something to him he hadn’t ever said before after he read the script for Episode VIII (via Washington Post).
“He read it and said something he never, ever says. He said: ‘It’s so good, I wish I were making it. He may have said something one time on ‘Lost,’ with Damon [Lindelof, the co-creator], but I never hear him express regret like that.”
– Greg Grunberg to The Washington Post‘s Comic Riffs
Star Wars Episode IX arrives in theatres in 300 days, on December 20th.
Written by Connor Heggie