A new rumor suggests J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson’s The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi movies were supposed to reboot the entire Star Wars franchise.
The rumor comes from Gary Buechler and his source, the same source who indicated George Lucas is still financially tied to the original Star Wars characters. (Related: Rumor: Disney Killing Off Iconic Star Wars Characters Because George Lucas Still Financially Attached)
The source told Buechler:
“Rian was not just randomly writing a story nor was JJ. JJ’s job was to create a in canon reboot like the 2009 movie and introduce the new characters. Rian’s job was to kill off the originals and then you were suppose to not notice it was rebooted. Each was given the outline to make it and what the points were. So now you know why. Disney did not want to pay a license fee and by end of it all looked different and was a new copyright under the old name. They even changed the Falcon to be different. But the orders was in the end to leave nothing original.”
The source added:
“There is this just quick. There was always one plan. After the reaction to The Last Jedi, the decision was made to bring in J.J. to fix the plan he laid out and they threw Rian under the bus. This is why they said Rian might get his own trilogy. They just didn’t expect the backlash to be as toxic as it was and consequently Solo flopped.”
Rian Johnson previously indicated there was no set plan for Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy. Johnson spoke to Deadline:
“That’s what’s been really cool about the storytelling process. There is definitely the idea that we know it is a three-movie arc. We know the first film is an introduction, then the middle act is training, meaning challenging the characters. The third is where they all come together and you have to resolve everything. But I was truly able to write this script without bases to tag, and without a big outline on the wall. That meant I could react to what I felt from The Force Awakens, and what I wanted to see. I could make this movie personal. I could also just take these characters where it felt right and most interesting to take them. I think part of the reason the movie feels like it goes to some unexpected places with the characters is that we had that freedom. If it had all just been planned out and written down beforehand, it might have felt a little more calculated, I suppose.”
In an interview with Fast Company in April of this year, J.J. Abrams would discuss how there wasn’t really an overarching plan for the Star Wars trilogy. He even notes there was a “lack of a complete structure.”
“But without getting in the weeds on episode eight, that was a story that Rian wrote and was telling based on seven before we met. So he was taking the thing in another direction. So we also had to respond to Episode VIII. So our movie was not just following what we had started, it was following what we had started and then had been advanced by someone else. So there was that, and, finally, it was resolving nine movies. While there are some threads of larger ideas and some big picture things that had been conceived decades ago and a lot of ideas that Lawrence Kasdan and I had when we were doing Episode VII, the lack of absolute inevitability, the lack of a complete structure for this thing, given the way it was being run was an enormous challenge.”
Interestingly enough, Adam Driver told Vanity Fair that Kylo Ren’s story arc had been planned from the very beginning.
“An overall arc was very, not vague, the opposite, it was very clear—[there was] an end in sight even from the very beginning. The details obviously hadn’t been worked out, but we had talked about the very thing that we’d been working towards with this last one.”
And then to make things even murkier, Colin Trevorrow had initially been brought on board to direct Episode IX back in 2015. He was fired from the project in September 2017. Collider reported that rumors indicated “that Trevorrow’s major point of disagreement with Kennedy was that he wanted to keep Luke Skywalker alive, thus altering The Last Jedi.”
Trevorrow spoke to Empire about his firing:
“I don’t want to talk too much about it because I don’t want to affect the way that fans get to see these films. When we were kids, these movies came to us from far away. They were a gift. And the more we talk about how they’re made, the more it reveals that they’re just movies. But they’re not just movies, they’re more than that. Beyond that, I got the opportunity to tell a story that is a celebration of everything I believe in, I got to tell it to George Lucas and I got to tell it to Luke Skywalker, and those are experiences I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
What do you make of this new rumor? Do you think this was Disney’s plan for Star Wars and Lucasfilm from the beginning? Did they want to pull a Star Trek from 2009? Could that have been the reason Colin Treverrow was fired from Episode IX before they brought in J.J. Abrams?