Star Wars: J.J. Abrams Laughed When He First Found Out The Last Jedi Killed Snoke
Star Wars: The Force Awakens set up Supreme Leader Snoke as being a threat as intense as Emperor Palpatine, only for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to kill the character somewhat abruptly, a decision which caused Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to laugh in surprise. While this narrative reveal might have been unexpected for Abrams, he noted that he appreciated the choices Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson made with the film and, though they may have been different from what Abrams would have done, Johnson likely would have made a variety of different decisions were he to have made The Force Awakens.
"When I read his first draft, it made me laugh, because I saw that was his take and his voice," Abrams shared with Rolling Stone. "I got to watch cuts of the movie as he was working on it, as an audience member. And I appreciated the choices he made as a filmmaker that would probably be very different from the choices that I would have made. Just as he would have made different choices if he had made Episode VII."
Up until the release of The Last Jedi, most Star Wars fans considered the prequel trilogy to be the most divisive event to happen in the fandom, yet Johnson's various decisions with the narrative, between killing Snoke and depicting Luke Skywalker less as the hero fans were expecting and more as a recluse who had lost faith in the Jedi, divided most fans. Abrams admitted that he was also surprised by the decisions made with Luke, while also noting how successful Johnson was at delivering fans the unexpected.
"I felt the biggest surprise was how dark Luke was," the director noted. "That was the thing that I thought: 'Oh, that was unexpected.' And that's the thing The Last Jedi undeniably succeeds at, which is constant subversion of expectation. The number of things that happened in that movie that aren't the thing you think is going to happen is pretty fun."
Despite the various directions that The Last Jedi explored that Abrams hadn't anticipated, he also noted that nothing fundamentally altered the overall trajectory of the sequel trilogy that he believed he was laying out.
"I had a real sense with [Force Awakens co-screenwriter] Larry Kasdan about where things would go, potentially," the filmmaker confessed. "And I think that, when I read Rian's script, what I felt was that with everything that happens in that movie, and quite a lot does, nothing sort of obviated a sense of inevitability where I thought the story could go."
Fans can see how the sequel trilogy concludes when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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