So this isn’t exactly breaking news any more but as you may know, Colin Trevorrow left the directors seat for Episode 9 just a few days ago (by mutual consent we hear) and everyone was wondering what was going on and who would replace him.. and we found out who rather quickly, the somewhat divisive but generally liked JJ Abrams.
An interesting but not hugely surprising choice, a lot of people were pulling for Rian Johnson to continue to direct Episode 9 after The Last Jedi but alas, JJ is Disneys choice, the next question being, is he the best choice for the job? My initial reaction to the decision was a mix of being taken aback a bit to seeing JJ return but also a bit of disappointment, not because Abrams isn’t a good director but I was looking forward to see a relatively new directors (like Colin Trevorrow) take on a big blockbuster film like Star Wars, which is part of why I’m so excited for The Last Jedi.
Abrams knows how to do a good, exciting film that keeps you hooked, just look at Cloverfield and Star Trek 09 but a valid criticism of his directing and writing is that he sets up things brilliantly but doesn’t always execute his ideas that well, evidenced by the lacklustre Super 8 for example.
I just don’t know, Abrams is a safe choice as an established director, he along with others brought Star Wars back into public consciousness with Force Awakens, the 2nd highest grossing film of all time and a film that still holds several box office records that probably won’t be broken for some time to come but admittedly, the films story was a re-hash of A New Hope and while it brought some new elements, it felt far too familiar. The fear is that Episode 9 will do the same and re-tread ground that Return Of The Jedi already walked but who knows, things are very up in the air at the moment, Episode 9 was recently just delayed 9 months and everything’s falling apart!? Okay, maybe not but please JJ, no more Death Stars, no more generically evil villains and re-treading the same plot points from the original trilogy, sure you can pay homage but make the story your own, be creative and don’t be afraid to buck the trend.
I don’t mean go full Lord and Miller a la The Han Solo film and go fully off script (like JJ would even do that) but I don’t want safe and samey for Star Wars, I want innovation, nuance and something different – which is what we may get with The Last Jedi and interestingly, we’ll see how Episode 9 under JJ shapes up at the tail end of this trilogy, with two JJ film and one Rian Johnson films, will one seem drastically different to the other two? Better or worse than them? These are interesting things to think about and we’ll find out in just a bit over 2 years now, with that extra seven months giving JJ and Disney more time to re-think, plan and knock the trilogy out of the park, I hope!