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J.J. Abrams Says He Won’t Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’; ‘Force Awakens’ Answers “Who Is Luke Skywalker?”

J.J. Abrams Says He Won't Direct 'Star Wars: Episode IX'; 'Force Awakens' Answers “Who Is Luke Skywalker?"

While J.J. Abrams has long made clear that choosing to direct “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was a decision that came with great responsibility and expectations, EW reveals that it was a chance to further explore the nature of an iconic character that spurred him to sign on.

“In the context of talking about story and laying out what we were thinking, I said one thing to him: ‘Who is Luke Skywalker?’” producer Kathleen Kennedy recounts about courting the filmmaker. And that was the hook that snared Abrams. “He said, ‘Oh my God, I just got the chills. I’m in.’ I mean, it really was almost that quickly.” 

READ MORE: Rian Johnson Shooting ‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ On 35mm, ‘Rogue One’ Filming Using 6K Arri Alexa 65

Indeed, Luke’s legacy, and the struggle between good and evil, seems to cast an interesting shadow over this film. Last year, rumors floated that ‘Force Awakens’ would open with Luke’s lightsaber-clutching hand floating through space and landing on a desert planet, where it’s discovered by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley who decide to return the lightsaber to its rightful owner, starting a new adventure. EW now reveals a not dissimilar description of Luke’s former lightsaber and where it winds up:

The Empire has morphed into a junta known as The First Order, while X-Wing pilots like Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron now fly for a splinter group known as the Resistance. Princess Leia (Fisher) has come into possession of the lightsaber once possessed by her father, Darth Vader, and later lost by Luke (Hamill) when Vader separated him from his arm during that “join me” duel in The Empire Strikes Back.

Hmm…. Meanwhile, though Abrams has helped set up the world going forward for “Star Wars” with writer Lawrence Kasdan, he won’t be directing ‘Episode IX’ and is passing the creative torch. “No, I’m not going to direct ‘Episode IX,’ as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with this group of people on the future movies,” the director said.

“We know where we’re going, but only in the broadest sense,” Kennedy adds. “When Rian [Johnson] came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in ‘Episode VII’ and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it’s 100 percent him.”

Thoughts? Theories? Share ’em below. ‘The Force Awakens’ on December 18th.

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