Anyone who has seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens would agree that director J.J. Abrams did a pretty awesome job with the first film in the new trilogy. He captured the humour, the wonder, the camaraderie and epicness that was a hallmark of the original trilogy but with none of the cheesy, cringeworthy elements of a lot of the first trilogy, particularly in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. Fans had put their trust with these beloved characters and story in Abrams and he more than delivered. So for Abrams to declare that his Episode IX will be even better than The Force Awakens is not only a pretty bold claim, but one that I am anxious to see unfold.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Abrams explained how he couldn’t resist returning to a galaxy far, far away. “I had no intention to return. But 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 [Episode VII].”
Going beyond The Force Awakens and doing better? This we have to see. And in which ways? Special effects? Storytelling? The overall experience?
“I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realize something that we hadn’t quite achieved – and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story,” Abrams added. “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.”
And one that we are certainly glad he took up as well. One of the criticisms of the series as a whole is its characters and the superficiality of some of them, particularly the minor characters. However, Abrams brought something extra to The Force Awakens that seemed to shift this slightly, Yes there were still identifiable stock characters, but there was often a slight twist in the mix that has resulted in audiences the world over falling in love with so many of these new characters. Not mention analysing every word and action of some characters to try and find our more of their backstory (or parentage) and attempting to work out how this might impact on the future story.
Having Abrams both begin and conclude this current story is certainly fitting and will no doubt have a beautiful story and character arc for the trilogy.
We have a bit of a wait to see the fruits of his labour however. Episode IX is not due in cinemas until December 20, 2019.