We were pretty surprised to learn that J.J. Abrams would be taking back the new Star Wars trilogy he originally started, replacing Colin Trevorrow as the director of the ninth film in the series. But why did Abrams agree to return? He said he wants to “do better” by the characters and their story.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Abrams addressed why he chose to direct the currently untitled Episode IX – a decision that apparently made star Daisy Ridley cry out of happiness. She told the magazine, “Everyone was saying it was going to be Rian [Johnson] and everything, so I was genuinely quite surprised. And was like ‘Oh my God!’ and I started crying immediately with three people in the office.”
Abrams said he previously had “no intention” of returning to the franchise, but he was too tempted by the idea of getting to close out the stories of the characters he started in the first place.
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, 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 Seven. I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realise something that we hadn’t quite achieved – and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story. The opportunity to sort of take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we begun? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up.
Of course, I’m sure other factors played a part, such as Disney’s seemingly endless purse strings, but it is nice to hear that Abrams recognises how there’s more he can do with the characters than he did in The Force Awakens. The movie was great, don’t get me wrong, but introductions are always hard. You have to spend time getting to know the characters before you truly understand how they’d act and react. I am excited to see what Abrams does with the characters in Episode IV – especially on the heels of Johnson’s The Last Jedi, because who knows what he’s going to do with them. Rey might be a turtle now.