Star Wars director JJ Abrams responds to fan criticism of the sequel trilogy’s plan. He says nothing is more crucial than understanding where you’re headed.
Although Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) was less polarizing than Rian Johnson‘s The Last Jedi (2017), many fans expected Episode IX to be a massive success.
Watch: J.J. Abrams Reflects on Star Wars and When It’s Critical to Have a Plan
Abrams, who helmed The Force Awakens (2015) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019), the first and last installments in the new trilogy, was queried by Collider whether Episodes VII to IX would have profited from carrying a clear vision since the start.
I’ve been involved in a number of projects that… have ideas that begin the thing where you feel like you know where it’s gonna go, and sometimes it’s an actor who comes in, other times it’s a relationship that as-written doesn’t quite work.
The director added,
Things that you think are gonna just be so well-received just crash and burn and other things that you think like, ‘Oh that’s a small moment’ or ‘That’s a one-episode character’ suddenly become a hugely important part of the story.
In response to the suggestion that Rian Johnson‘s The Last Jedi (2017) may have thrown the trilogy, of course, Abrams said he’s grown to adapt to the unforeseen.
I feel like what I’ve learned… is that you have to plan things as best you can, and you always need to be able to respond to the unexpected. And the unexpected can come in all sorts of forms, and I do think that there’s nothing more important than knowing where you’re going.
The filmmaker emphasized the significance of devising a plan saying that if you don’t have a strategy, you don’t realize what you’re trying to set up. You’re at a loss for what to emphasize. Because you’re only as good as your last arc, effect, joke, or whatever if you’re not aware of the story’s ultimate conclusion.