The Last Jedi is in the rearview mirror now, but thanks to the divisive reaction to the movie it still seems like we get discussions about tearing the film apart or defending it every day. Movie nets outlets are still releasing news about this movie that came out 6 months ago and the press tour for the movie has long ended. I guess its because the toxicity that it generated has a large presence on the internet.
We’ve known for quite a while that JJ Abrams will be back to direct Episode IX. The film is actually expected to begin filming this summer. I was completely fine with JJ coming back when it was announced, although, believe it or not I would’ve much preferred to see Rian Johnson get the film. I think a lot of people agreed with me at the time too, but that has changed over the last few months. Now that the film has caused a lot more backlash than I’m willing to admit I find myself really happy that JJ is coming back. The Force Awakens was about as well received as it could be (although there were still complaints about its unoriginality) but fans seemed to have been fairly happy with it overall. Now that JJ is behind both the first and last chapter of the trilogy I wonder if he should have just directed all of it.
When JJ read the script for The Last Jedi his reaction was that he wished he was directing it, but I’m sure that if JJ was also behind Episode VIII the story maybe would’ve taken a direction that people would be happier with. Remember though, JJ hasn’t always had a reputation for giving people answers. He’s a great set up man. He seemed unwilling to make definitive choices in Episode VII. Luke was absent for almost all of the film and then the film ended without him saying a word. In some ways, I think JJ painted Rian Johnson into a corner with his choices. When Luke was hiding on this island he would have to have some reason for being there. It wouldn’t really make sense if Rey won the Luke Skywalker scavenger hunt and now he would join the fight.
I’m sure if Abrams was behind the whole trilogy it would be considered much “safer”. Who knows, its possible that his version of Episode VIII would’ve been a Empire Strikes Back retread. I’d like to think he’d be smart enough not to try it, but who knows? The story would have the advantage of the consistent vision of one storyteller. Like the original trilogy with George Lucas himself
Hindsight is 20/20. Do you think that JJ Abrams should’ve directed the entire sequel trilogy? Personally I’m not really sure.