J.J. Abrams managed to successfully reintroduce the Star Wars franchise to the masses with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He took a little break to let Rian Johnson come in and direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but he's coming back for Star Wars 9 and he's got some big ideas. He and screenwriter Chris Terrio are working on the screenplay, and apparently, this is the movie that "unites all three trilogies" together. Here's what a Reddit user had to say after a recent encounter with both Abrams and Terrio.

"They said that they're going to be brave and there will be big surprises. I got the impression that JJ felt like he had to refresh previous Star Wars moments for a modern audience in TFA, and now it feels like they have free reign to do what they want. Apparently they've had no interference from Kathleen or Pablo or the Lucasfilm Story Group. 9 is also the film which unites all three trilogies and brings everything together. That's all they would tell me."
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Reddit may not seem like the most credible place for this kind of information, but the user did post a photo as proof that he did indeed speak with J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio, who are currently working the Star Wars: Episode IX script right now. Still, this should probably be taken with a little bit of skepticism for the time being. According to this Redditor, even though he's concerned his questions were leading, Terrio did say the movie will make it clear that the Star Wars prequels are "happening in the same universe" as the new movies.

"I worry a little bit that the questions I was asking were too leading. I was speaking to Chris and he was talking about the OT. I said about how I grew up with the PT and the prequels were my entry point into Star Wars. I asked about elements of the PT coming into 9 and Chris said about how 9 unites all of it. He said 9 definitely makes it feel like they're all happening in the same universe, and there would be PT elements in 9. They could be visual or thematic, he didn't overtly say that there would be returning planets or characters from the PT or anything."

For a generation of younger fans, the Star Wars prequels aren't as hated as they are by fans who grew up with the original movies. For those fans, the prequels are pretty much rage fuel. However, these new Star Wars movies are for both generations of fans, so referencing the prequels, in some way or another, makes sense. To lend a bit more credibility to this, J.J. Abrams recently spoke with the BBC and, without saying the word "prequel," said that he's planning on taking the movie "elsewhere."

"Well, it's certainly something that I'm aware of now working on Episode IX, coming back into this world after having done Episode VII. I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids, loving what these movies were. And at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven't gone, and that's sort of our responsibility. It's a strange thing, Michael's worked on things like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek and Star Wars, and these are the things of dreams. Yet we can't just revel in that; we have to go elsewhere."

Star Wars: Episode IX will need to do something different in order to truly satisfy fans. It can't be a rehash of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. If they can actually manage to unite all three trilogies, even thematically, as the interview with BBC suggests, that would be a pretty big accomplishment. Star Wars 9 is set for release on May 24, 2019.