With bruised and battered fans waiting to see if the Sequel Trilogy can redeem itself after the lukewarm The Last Jedi, the temptation may have been to play it safe.  Returning to JJ Abrams after Colin Trevorrow quit or was fired (you decide!) seemed like a safe bet.

We know Kevin Feige is going to be taking a much more hands-on approach to Star Wars by the command of Disney supremo Bob Iger.  Clearly the CEO is hoping Feige can weave some of his Marvel magic where Lucasfilm has failed to shine so far.  With solid, reliable entertainment makers such as Jon Favereau getting their feet under the table via The Mandalorian dare we dream, finally, of good times ahead for Star Wars?  Feige seems to think so, as he told The Hollywood Reporter:

“I love that world and I love the notion of exploring new people and new places in that universe. But that’s sort of all that can be said for now.”

He’s also not necessarily towing the line around hiatus and franchise fatigue:

“Well they’ve made about five movies in about five years and it’s made over five billion dollars, so I think they’re doing just fine with Star Wars. And Rise of Skywalker looks incredible to me.”

Ahhh yes.   J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The Force Awakens gets flack for being too safe and too familiar.  Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi was criticised for being borderline blasphemy that strayed too far from the true path.    Maybe running a show in Star Wars is as impossible a task as proving what a good little Communist you were in East Germany in the days of the Stasi? One wrong move, one wrong word, and you are disappeared in the dead of night with your family.  Say, where is Rian Johnson and his trilogy anyway?

Well, apparently if you were expecting Abrams to provide a safe, familiar ending to the Skywalker saga then maybe prepare for some discomfort.  When speaking to Total Film he declares that is not the case:

“On this one, I let myself be, at least in the way I was approaching the thing, freer. In Episode 7, I was adhering to a kind of approach that felt right for Star Wars in my head. It was about finding a visual language, like shooting on locations and doing practical things as much as possible. And we continue that in Episode 9, but I also found myself doing things that I’m not sure I would have been as daring to do on Episode 7.

Rian helped remind me that that’s why we’re on these movies – not to just do something that you’ve seen before. I won’t say that I felt constrained or limited on 7, but I found myself wanting to do something that felt more consistent with the original trilogy than not. And on 9, I found myself feeling like I’m just gonna go for it a bit more.”

To back this up, Daisy Ridley recently spoke of a scene they shot for the film on their last day in Jordan.  Speaking to Andro Cinema she said:

”…the crew was shaken in a way I had not seen before…”

Looks like they’ve all got the risk-taking bug.  How will this play out on December 20th?

Was there any truth in the test screening stories?  How extensive were the reshoots?  Did Lucas really come in to help?  Will I be able to get a babysitter on December 20th?  We need answers!  And I need a babysitter!