J.J. Abrams directed 2015’s Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens and 2019’s Star Wars Episode IX The Rise Of Skywalker. However, the latter was chastised badly by both fans and critics alike. As a self-proclaimed fan of the franchise, I reviewed the movie and found it to be one of the worst in the entire history of Star Wars.
It’s clear now (and even back then) that Disney and Lucasfilm didn’t have a solid plan or framework to base an entire trilogy on. They could have used the rough draft already written by George Lucas himself, but they ultimately didn’t and we all know how that turned out.
Speaking with Collider, J.J. Abrams looks back on Star Wars and admits that one of the lessons he’s learnt is that having a plan is critical.
“I’ve been involved in a number of projects that have been – in most cases, series – that have ideas that begin the thing where you feel like you know where it’s gonna go, and sometimes it’s an actor who comes in, other times it’s a relationship that as-written doesn’t quite work, and things that you think are gonna just be so well-received just crash and burn and other things that you think like, ‘Oh that’s a small moment’ or ‘That’s a one-episode character’ suddenly become a hugely important part of the story.
I feel like what I’ve learned as a lesson a few times now, and it’s something that especially in this pandemic year working with writers [has become clear], the lesson is that you have to plan things as best you can, and you always need to be able to respond to the unexpected.
And the unexpected can come in all sorts of forms, and I do think that there’s nothing more important than knowing where you’re going.
“You just never really know, but having a plan I have learned – in some cases the hard way – is the most critical thing, because otherwise you don’t know what you’re setting up. You don’t know what to emphasize. Because if you don’t know the inevitable of the story, you’re just as good as your last sequence or effect or joke or whatever, but you want to be leading to something inevitable.”
In the meantime, check out my top ten Star Wars characters of all time, or head on over here for when our very own Mr. Toffee reflected back on whether the much-maligned Star Wars Sequel trilogy deserved all the hate.