While J.J. Abrams had no plans to be drawn back into the “Star Wars” franchise after 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” he ended up coming back to direct the upcoming “Episode IX” — for the simple reason that he wanted to top himself.
“I had no intention to return,” Abrams said in a new Rolling Stone interview. “But when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in Seven.”
Abrams stepped into direct the final film in the new trilogy, which will follow this month’s “The Last Jedi” and is due out in 2019, after Colin Treverrow withdrew in September over creative differences with Lucasfilm. Treverrow had joined the project in 2015.
Abrams said he didn’t want to pass up the chance to try to re-create the magic of “The Force Awakens.”
“I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realize something that we hadn’t quite achieved — and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story,” he told Rolling Stone.
“The opportunity to sort of take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we begun? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up.”
Abrams directed and produced “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015. He is also serving as an executive producer on the upcoming film “The Last Jedi,” out next week, which Rian Johnson is directing. Abrams will co-write “Episode IX” with Chris Terrio.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Abrams said he planned to take the final installment of the franchise “elsewhere.”