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J.J. Abrams said making Star Wars: Episode 9 “was an enormous challenge,” but he feels they “might have something incredibly special”

The final part of the Star Wars Skywalker saga will be with us this year and, after the events in The Last Jedi, who knows what will happen? Well, J.J. Abrams who directed Episode IX, knows and he recently talked to Fast Company about getting Chris Terrio involved to co-write the film.

To have no script and to have a release date and have it be essentially a two-year window when you’re saying (to yourself), you’ve got two years from the decision to do it to release, and you have literally nothing. You don’t have the story, you don’t have the cast, you don’t have the designers, the sets. There was a crew, and there were things that will be worked on for the version that preceded ours, but this was starting over. And because this was such a mega job, I knew at the very least I needed a co-writer to work on this thing, but I didn’t know who that co-writer would be. There was nothing. So the first thing I did was reach out to a writer who I’ve admired for years, Chris Terrio. who I didn’t really know, to say, ‘Listen, would you want to write Star Wars with me?” And he screamed…What I realized at that moment was, I hadn’t been aware until then that I needed to work with someone who would scream at the prospect of working on Star Wars. Because I had been through the process, and I was looking at brass tacks: This is what it’s going to take, this is the reality of it. And he was looking at it sort of childlike: Oh my God, I can’t believe we get to play in this world, which I needed to be reminded of. I needed that point of view because that’s not where I was. Of course, I was excited about what we could do, but I was acutely aware of how little time we had to do a fairly enormous job.

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.

For those of you who don’t know, Terrio wrote Argo (which was great) and also Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League…..I will just leave that there.

Now, I did enjoy Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Abrams directed. However, I was incredibly disappointed with Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. There was no sexism or racism on my part for my dislike of the film (despite what many news reports said about those who did not enjoy the film). No, I just felt it was a very poorly made film with a story that took the excellent first episode of 2004 Battlestar Galactica Season 1 and turned it into a plodding mess. You can read more of my thoughts on The Last Jedi here. I know some people loved it and I have got no problem with that. We all have our own opinions on films and that is how it should be.

Abrams, without saying it directly, touched on the having to follow the events of The Last Jedi.

While 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, the lack of absolute inevitability, the lack of a complete structure for this thing, given the way it was being run was an enormous challenge.

Yet, he does feel that they managed to pull it off.

The difference is I feel like we might’ve done it. Like, I actually feel like this crazy challenge that could have been a wildly uncomfortable contortion of ideas, and a kind of shoving-in of answers and Band-Aids and bridges and things that would have felt messy. Strangely, we were sort of relentless and almost unbearably disciplined about the story and forcing ourselves to question and answer some fundamental things that at the beginning, I absolutely had no clue how we would begin to address. I feel like we’ve gotten to a place—without jinxing anything or sounding more confident than I deserve to be—I feel like we’re in a place where we might have something incredibly special. So I feel relief being home, and I feel gratitude that I got to do it. And more than anything, I’m excited about what I think we might have.

Will Abrams retcon some of the things laid out in The Last Jedi – Rey’s parents being one that keeps getting mentioned – or will it just build on what was laid out? On Friday 12th April, J.J. Abrams is in Chicago for Star Wars Celebration 2019 and we should hopefully get some more info then.

We do know that the film will star Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Domhnall Gleeson, Kellie Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Billy Dee Williams, Joonas Suotamo, Keri Russell, and Dominic Monaghan.

MTV News spoke to Johnson about Episode 9 and it sounds like he is just excited to see what happens next.

Like I said, man. I want to let go of all my expectations, I want to sit back, I want to be entertained. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled. I want him to do stuff that I wasn’t expecting him to do and just go along for the ride. For me, that’s why I go to the movies, you know?

Whatever happens, I just hope it is a fitting and enjoyable end to this part of the Star Wars Saga.

Rumour has it that the first trailer will be with us this weekend, but we will have to wait and see. Until then, what do you want to see in Episode 9? I gave my thoughts on what could happen in an episode of After The Ending, which you can listen to below.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on 20th December 2019.

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