With JJ Abrams we have a known commodity, and are generally assured of a quality final product (lens flares aside). The Force Awakens was an equal blend of nostalgic and introductory material to bridge the gap between Star Wars trilogies. But what is he bringing to the table for Star Wars Episode IX? Oscar Isaac gives us some insight into what Episode IX production is like in the wake of fan backlash to The Last Jedi.
No matter what happened with Episode VIII, directing the last Star Wars episodic installment was going to be unenviable task. First there’s the pressure of wrapping up a Skywalker saga that has spanned four decades. Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing has led to script rewriting and production changes. Add in the divisiveness that The Last Jedi created and you could have a recipe for disaster. Not so, says Isaac.
Oscar Isaac Describes Looser Episode IX Production
“The way they’ve been shooting it right now is looser than it’s been for the last two times,” said Isaac in an interview with IndieWire. It seems Abrams is allowing a little more improvisation this time around, leading to a more jovial, on-set experience. For Oscar Isaac, that’s refreshing.
“It does feel like a relief to get on set and feel like, ‘Oh, we can try things.’ It’s a testament to J.J. coming back and feeling confident. There’s less pressure for it to be right. We just want to make a good movie and have really good time while doing it.”
Perhaps that’s just what Star Wars needs: a little, genuine levity. After all, it was the instant and palpable chemistry between Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford that was one of the of the original trilogy’s hallmarks. Conversely, for many, too much time was spent on subverting expectation with the last film. Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley have barely been able to tap into their chemistry. If the actors are able to let it flow more freely this time around, then perhaps the film will please more of the masses.
“Often, you do feel like you’ve got to find your way to make something more alive,” Isaac continued. Such is often the case when the writing isn’t up to par. That was one of the main criticisms of both the prequels and Ep. VIII. “…[But] this time it’s been the opposite. There’s no need to smuggle anything in there.”
We’ll find out how Abrams and his fresher directing style fares when Episode IX hits theaters in December, 2019.