Director J.J. Abrams recently revealed his approach to directing the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker film.
Abrams discussed his approach with Vanity Fair and made it clear that it was different from his approach on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which he previously directed.
“Working on nine, I found myself approaching it slightly differently. Which is to say that, on seven, I felt beholden to Star Wars in a way that was interesting—I was doing what to the best of my ability I felt Star Wars should be.”
Abrams then details his approach for The Rise of Skywalker.
“It felt slightly more renegade; it felt slightly more like, you know, F*** it, I’m going to do the thing that feels right because it does, not because it adheres to something.”
Abrams then points to who he sees this new trilogy for.
“This trilogy is about this young generation, this new generation, having to deal with all the debt that has come before.”
“And it’s the sins of the father, and it’s the wisdom and the accomplishments of those who did great things, but it’s also those who committed atrocities, and the idea that this group is up against this unspeakable evil and are they prepared? Are they ready? What have they learned from before? It’s less about grandeur. It’s less about restoring an old age. It’s more about preserving a sense of freedom and not being one of the oppressed.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy added her own thoughts about the expectations fans have for Star Wars and how the franchise is different from Marvel Studios.
“I think there is a larger expectation that Disney has. On the other hand, though, I think that Disney is very respectful of what this is, and right from the beginning we talked about the fragility of this form of storytelling. Because it’s something that means so much to fans that you can’t turn this into some kind of factory approach. You can’t even do what Marvel does, necessarily, where you pick characters and build new franchises around those characters. This needs to evolve differently.”
She would then talk about how she believes a “loss of innocence” needs to “permeate the storytelling” in Star Wars movies.
“There’s a loss of innocence, a sense of innocence that existed in the 70s that I don’t think to any extent exists today. I think that has to permeate the storytelling and the reaction to the stories and how they’re set up. It has to feel differently because we’re different.”
Finally she discusses how evil needs to be portrayed in the films.
“Evil needs to feel and look very real and what that means today may not be as black-and-white as it might have been in 1977, coming off a kind of World War II sensibility.”
What do you make of J.J. Abrams approach to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Does this give you hope for the upcoming film? Or does it make you even more leery following Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi? What do you think of Kathleen Kennedy’s comments about Star Wars storytelling and how evil should be shown?