Rian Johnson reveals he doesn't care if Star Wars: Episode IX retcons any plot points he established in The Last Jedi. As anyone who follows the galaxy far, far away knows, Johnson's entry into the Skywalker saga was one of the most polarizing blockbusters in recent memory. Some people felt the film was the refreshing change-of-pace the series needed in order to thrive for the longterm, while others thought Johnson's bold creative choices were a bit too much and ruined the franchise entirely. The heated debates continue to this day, nearly a year and a half since the film hit theaters.
J.J. Abrams, director of The Force Awakens, took the baton back from Johnson for this December's trilogy finale. Over the course of his career, Abrams has built up a filmography of fast-paced, entertaining genre pictures, but even his biggest fans would admit he has a habit of playing things safe in his movies, leaning more on nostalgia than innovation. Force Awakens, for example, intentionally borrowed story beats from A New Hope in order to ease viewers into a new era for Star Wars. With Abrams calling the shots on Episode IX, some are wondering if he'll look to undo portions of Johnson's movie with bits of fan service or reverting back to the status quo. If that were to pass, Johnson wouldn't mind as long as he's entertained.
While at CinemaCon (where he was showcasing his new mystery-thriller Knives Out), Johnson caught up with MTV News to chat about Star Wars. When asked about Episode IX, Johnson stated he's only had "a couple of conversations" with Abrams and is excited to see where the story goes - even if it means some of his Last Jedi twists get retconned.
"Like I said, man. I want to let go of all my expectations, I want to sit back, I want to be entertained. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled. I want him to do stuff that I wasn't expecting him to do and just go along for the ride. For me, that's why I go to the movies, you know?"
The Last Jedi generated backlash for the answers Johnson gave to some of The Force Awakens' biggest questions, such as Rey's parentage, Supreme Leader Snoke's role, and why Luke Skywalker fled to Ahch-To. These revelations didn't line up with expectations or numerous fan theories, which upset some viewers. Though some of the negative reactions were quite toxic, nobody should expect Episode IX to be a giant course correction that reveals Rey is a Kenobi and Snoke is actually Darth Plagueis reincarnated. Abrams pitched his story to Disney the day The Last Jedi debuted in theaters and went on record saying the response would not influence what he did with the film. In all likelihood, Abrams will honor Johnson's decisions and keep them canon. There's always an outside chance of a retcon (Luke and Leia weren't brother and sister until Return of the Jedi), but Episode IX seemingly has greater things to worry about than rehashing Rey's lineage.
Thankfully, it's only a matter of time before Johnson and the rest of Star Wars fandom get their first real taste of what Abrams has up his sleeve. This coming week is Celebration Chicago, where there will be an Episode IX panel. It's widely thought the teaser trailer will premiere at the convention, finally peeling back the curtain on what's arguably been Lucasfilm's most secretive production in the Disney era. No matter what Abrams does for Episode IX, hopefully it delivers the rousing and epic conclusion the Skywalker saga deserves.
Source: MTV News
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019