Following Disney's initial announcement that a new trilogy of Star Wars films was on the way after their purchase of Lucasfilm, debates began over how the creative process would unfold amongst filmmakers. Making matters somewhat more confusing, actress Daisy Ridley recently shared that The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams initially wrote drafts for all three films, raising the question of how much impact his narrative had on The Last Jedi.
"Here's what I think I know. J. J. wrote Episode VII, as well as drafts for VIII & IX," Ridley shared with Le Magazine GEEK (translated by Tumblr user daisyridleys). "Then Rian Johnson arrived and wrote The Last Jedi entirely. I believe there was some sort of general consensus on the main lines of the trilogy, but apart from that, every director writes and realizes his film in his own way. Rian Johnson and J. J. Abrams met to discuss all of this, although Episode VIII is still his very own work. I believe Rian didn't keep anything from the first draft of Episode VIII."
The actress' quote raises a lot of questions about the creative process of this new trilogy, with seemingly no official answer.
Firstly, Ridley shares what she "thinks" she knows, which makes it entirely possible that the information isn't correct. However, Abrams working with Lucasfilm to solidify some sort of overall arc for the trilogy wouldn't be surprising, yet it's also possible that when Rian Johnson was tapped to helm The Last Jedi, all plans got thrown out the window so his vision could come to life.
Based on the success of The Last Jedi and excitement from Lucasfilm, they announced that Johnson would helm a new trilogy of films and direct the initial installment, which potentially mirrors Abrams' involvement in the new trilogy. The filmmaker may have brainstormed three films, brought the initial entry to life, yet handed the franchise back over to Lucasfilm.
Another confusing element about the whole situation is some fans claiming that changes in creative leadership can result in a disappointing product, holding the original trilogy of films to the highest standards. Those original films had different directors and different screenwriting teams, all acting under George Lucas' overall outlook for the trilogy.
Lucas has claimed that he knew how all nine films in the saga would pan out, yet with the brief romantic tension between Luke and Leia in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and sequel novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, it could appear as though the sibling connection hadn't been finalized until later development of the series.
The next chapter in the saga was written by Abrams and Chris Terrio, with Abrams set to begin filming this summer.
Episode IX lands in theaters on December 20, 2019.
Does it matter to you if the overall vision of the films evolves over time with different filmmakers? Let us know in the comments below!