Under a month now. Tick tock. We will find out if the greatest salvage job in movie history has been achieved, or if The Last Jedi was impossible to recover from? Can a man, not renowned for his endings, deliver an ending and something of quality?
The media circus is starting up, and Abrams has been out in front of Rolling Stone for a long and detailed interview.
Abrams confirms this movie is far larger in scale than anything he has ever done before, even The Force Awakens. He also adds it’s the most challenging thing he has ever done.
Towing the company line and not dumping all over other colleagues’ work, he also downplayed the changes of direction and story that The Last Jedi foisted upon him.
Even the most casual fan could see that the decisions Johnson made with The Last Jedi, were writing whoever was trying to run this third show into something of a cul-de-sac. Colin Trevorrow jumped and wanted more Jurassic rather than try and rescue the story from Johnson’s subversion of expectations.
Abrams is straight in with damage control:
“When I read his first draft, it made me laugh because I saw that was his take and his voice. 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’.”
“I had a real sense with [‘Force Awakens’ co-screenwriter] Larry Kasdan about where things would go, potentially. 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.”
So a non-denial denial. Very diplomatic. But you are driving to deliver an ending? A conclusion? You do know you have this reputation about endings? Are you going to land this thing?
“I felt going into this, even on Episode VII – I don’t remember if this was discussed or not, but it felt like this was the final trilogy. It felt like it earned being the conclusion of that story. Who’s to say what comes next?
Is there something else to be done that involves any of these characters? I’m working on nothing [Star Wars-related], so I’m not hinting at anything. I’m just saying, who’s to know, but it just felt like the end.”
The future is in a state of flux at a Lucasfilm following this attempt for closure. What happens next? Feige of Marvel with Favreau/Filoni axis appears to be a strong rumour.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker opens in just weeks, on December 20th.