It’s very easy to take someone’s words out of context, or to misinterpret the meaning behind them. That’s especially true when it comes Hollywood celebrities. But when someone repeats the same sentiment over and over with different words, their feelings on the subject become exceptionally clear. It’s fair to say at this point that director J.J. Abrams was less than keen on the direction of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Why? Because there was no direction for the Star Wars sequels at all.
Abrams first hinted at his distaste for the lack of cohesiveness in the Star Wars sequel trilogy in February of 2019. His initial comments about The Last Jedi’s influence on The Rise of Skywalker back then were more diplomatic. Just several months later, however, the director of The Force Awakens really opened up. In April of 2019, he admitted how difficult it was to work on Episode IX following what Rian Johnson had done with Episode VIII. Lucasfilm’s lack of a coherent plan for the sequels is clearly still weighing on Abrams to this day. For him to bemoan the matter after all this time gives an idea of just how much.
J.J. Abrams on the Star Wars sequel trilogy
“[T]he lesson 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.”
That was how Abrams responded to Collider when asked whether the Star Wars sequel trilogy would have benefitted from an overall plan from the beginning. These latest comments are just the latest of many to come from the talented director who’s made no secret of the lack of direction at Lucasfilm when it came to the sequels:
“You just never really know, but having a plan I have learned – in some cases the hard way – is the most critical thing, because otherwise you don’t know what you’re setting up. You don’t know what to emphasize. Because if you don’t know the inevitable of the story, you’re just as good as your last sequence or effect or joke or whatever, but you want to be leading to something inevitable.”
Fans, like Abrams, are sadly left to wonder what could have been had the Star Wars sequel trilogy had a plan from the beginning.