We knew it wouldn’t take Lucasfilm long to find a new director for Star Wars: Episode IX. When Colin Trevorrow parted ways with the studio last week, it seemed obvious that there would be two names at the top of their list: Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, and J.J. Abrams, Star Wars executive producer and director of The Force Awakens. Johnson took his name out of the running pretty early on, and now it seems as though Abrams is stepping up to the plate.
Just when you thought Fred Armisen’s deleted SNL finale sketch the last of Season 41 to hold you over for summer, in swoops a bonus round of celebrity Star Wars auditions! SNL dusted off the November sketch for another round, this time including Matthew McConaughey, along with impressive impressions the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Shia LaBeouf and more.
Last night, J.J. Abrams participated in a Q&A with Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival, where topics ranged from superhero films to lens flares to — inevitably — Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When asked if Rey’s parents are in the film, Abrams basically said no, sending fans into a speculation spiral as they crossed Han Solo, Luke and Leia off their lists and prepared to begin a new chapter in their theorizing. But then Abrams clarified his comments in a later statement, taking us right back to where we started with this whole crazy speculation game.
Have you seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Yes, of course you have. You’ve probably seen it like three or four times. Hell I have a baby who was born three days after the movie came out, I haven’t slept in three months, and even I’ve seen it twice.
There was a lot of paranoia about spoilers in the days and weeks (and months [and years]) leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Trailers gave almost no indication of a plot beyond the presence of a) stars and b) wars. The official poster didn’t include a picture of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker for fear of revealing his fate. Even press screenings were delayed until the last possible moment to keep the lid on J.J. Abrams’ latest mystery box for as long as humanly possible.
J.J. Abrams revved up the engine on the ol’ Star Wars ship, launching the series on a new journey with The Force Awakens, but declining to return for the subsequent sequels. Instead, Rian Johnson (Looper) and Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will be steering the franchise from here on out, directing Episodes 8 and 9, respectively. Johnson is in production on Episode 8 right now, and according to The Force Awakens star Daisy Ridley, the script is “very good.” How good? Abrams regrets turning down the chance to direct it.
Consider this an ample warning to turn back now if you haven’t had time to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet because we’re about to get into serious spoiler territory. Avert your eyes, ye who wish to remain untainted when it comes to the finer plot points of The Force Awakens. Go forth, lest ye be spoiled on the identity of a character who makes it to Episode 8.