The red-carpet premiere for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is now out of the way, the reviews officially drop very early tomorrow morning, and on Thursday night the movie will finally hit theaters around the planet. Miraculously, spoilers are still being kept under wraps, and J.J. Abrams is now ready to talk about the future of the franchise and the passing of the torch to Rian Johnson for “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” And chatting with Slashfilm, he reveals that the process of writing ‘The Force Awakens’ spurred ideas for ‘Episode VIII’ and ‘Episode IX.’
“We don’t write a treatment but there are countless times we came up with something and said ‘Oh, this would be so great for Episode VIII!’ or “Thats what we could get to in IX!’ It was just that kind of forward moving story,” he explained. “But we knew this had to neither be a backwards moving nostalgic trip only nor a beginning of a movie without a satisfying conclusion, and that was part of the balancing act — embracing what we have inherited and using that where and whenever possible to tell a story that hasn’t been seen yet. We also knew that certain things were inevitable in our minds but that didn’t mean it would be inevitable for whoever came in next.”
Johnson met with the filmmakers of ‘The Force Awakens’ to talk about what needs to be in the new film to set up the next one, and while they didn’t always see eye-to-eye, the result is something Abrams stands behind in a big way. “…[W]e met and talked with him about all the things we were working on and playing with, and he as a spectacular writer and director has taken those things and has written an AMAZING script that I think will be an incredible next chapter, some of which incorporating things we were thinking of and other things are things we could never of dreamed of.
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“There were a handful of things we talked about that were going to be helpful to him. Some were very easy to do, and some things were things that I didn’t want to do for other reasons, but I tried to be as accommodating as I could,” Abrams admits, but it seems tough decisions and compromises were made to serve the greater good.
The force will be with the world on December 18th.