SALT LAKE CITY — “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has received a fair amount of criticism since its release in 2017. While many appreciated the film, other fans took issue with Lucasfilm and director Rian Johnson’s creative choices, including more female-centric stories. In the worst cases, backlash led to cast members deactivating their social media accounts due to harassment.
There have been questions about whether Abrams’ direction of “Episode IX” would be affected by the response to “The Last Jedi.”
According to Abrams, that answer is no.
What happened: In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Abrams was asked if the way people reacted to “The Last Jedi” affected filming of “Episode IX.”
- “No, I think that every movie is its own movie, and obviously this is a trilogy,” Abrams said. “We brought to that movie all the passion and hard work that we would have no matter what, so I think the story speaks for itself.”
- When asked by IndieWire earlier this month if fan outcry impacted his vision for the final film, Abrams again said, “not in the least,” adding, “There’s a lot that I would like to say about it, but I feel like it’s a little early to be having the ‘Episode IX’ conversation. … I will say that the story of Rey and Poe and Finn and Kylo Ren … their story continues in a way that I couldn’t be more excited about and cannot wait for people to see.”
On “Episode IX”: Abrams briefly shared other thoughts about the film and what it was like to work with Billy Dee Williams, who will be returning in “Episode IX” as Lando Calrissian.
Wrapping up filming:
Abrams talked about what it felt like to wrap up filming on “Episode IX” and his tweet showing the embrace shared between actors Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac.
“It was actually a pretty emotional thing, but the cast and crew just did an unbelievable job, and I just cannot wait for you to see what we got going for you,” Abrams told ET.
It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all. pic.twitter.com/138AprtFuZ— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) February 15, 2019
On working with Billy Dee Williams:8 comments on this story
“I’d met him once before, and he was such a sweet guy,” Abrams told ET. “But I’ve got to tell you, I have such unbelievable respect for him. We had a great time, and he was wonderful.
Abrams said Williams “just had this aura around him” and is an incredible actor.
The name of the film:
Abrams still remains mum on the name of the film, but he did express what word he hopes fans take away from the film after seeing it.
“There are a lot of words that we all hope that you feel,” Abrams said, “and obviously the biggest, most important one is ‘satisfied.’”
“Star Wars: Episode IX” will be released Dec. 20.