Anticipation Turned To Apathy
Star Wars Celebration is just around the corner, and a trailer for Episode IX is expected at that event.
What should be the most anticipated sequel of all time has been left toiling in the shadow of Avengers: Endgame after The Last Jedi made fandom deflated. It also caused original Episode IX Director, Jurassic World’s Colin Trevmorrow, to become another in a long line of directors to walk, be fired or be reshot at Lucasfilm since the sale to Disney.
In any other industry, in any other company, that sort of staff turnover in key positions would cause HR to start asking questions. However, this is Hollywood so they went for stability and re-hired Episode VII Director JJ Abrams to stick the landing.
Now even he seems to have admitted that The Last Jedi left him and scriptwriting partner Chris Terrio in a bad place.
A Hail Mary Pass?
Speaking to The Fast Company and Slash Film, Abrams clearly calls out Terrio’s enthusiasm as a saving grace. While being careful not to directly aim any criticism at what he was left to fix, he also certainly acknowledges the challenges of picking up where The Last Jedi left off.
“While there are some threads of larger ideas and some big picture things that had been conceived decades ago and a lot of ideas that Lawrence Kasdan and I had when we were doing Episode VII, the lack of absolute inevitability, the lack of a complete structure for this thing, given the way it was being run was an enormous challenge.
Because this was such a mega job, I knew at the very least I needed a co-writer to work on this thing, but I didn’t know who that co-writer would be. There was nothing. So the first thing I did was reach out to a writer who I’ve admired for years, Chris Terrio. who I didn’t really know, to say, ‘Listen, would you want to write Star Wars with me?’ And he screamed.
What I realized in that moment was, I hadn’t been aware until then that I needed to work with someone who would scream at the prospect of working on Star Wars. Because I had been through the process, and I was looking at brass tacks: This is what it’s going to take, this is the reality of it. And he was looking at it sort of childlike: Oh my God, I can’t believe we get to play in this world, which I needed to be reminded of. I needed that point of view, because that’s not where I was. Of course, I was excited about what we could do, but I was acutely aware of how little time we had to do a fairly enormous job.
The difference is I feel like we might’ve done it. Like, I actually feel like this crazy challenge that could have been a wildly uncomfortable contortion of ideas, and a kind of shoving-in of answers and Band-Aids and bridges and things that would have felt messy. Strangely, we were sort of relentless and almost unbearably disciplined about the story and forcing ourselves to question and answer some fundamental things that at the beginning, I absolutely had no clue how we would begin to address. I feel like we’ve gotten to a place – without jinxing anything or sounding more confident than I deserve to be – I feel like we’re in a place where we might have something incredibly special. So I feel relief being home, and I feel gratitude that I got to do it. And more than anything, I’m excited about what I think we might have.”
Why Don’t You Say What You Really Think?
Wow! A lot to unpack there. Clear identification of the challenges they were left with. An admission it required effort, care and attention to course correct? Reference to his and Kasdan’s ideas being derailed?
It breaks my heart, being a 70s and 80s kid, to both hear of this apathy towards Star Wars that has now developed and to be forced to admit that I feel it to. I guess that’s why I am rooting for them to pull this off somehow.
I guess we will find out come December 2019.