J.J. Abrams had himself a pretty good laugh when he first read The Last Jedi script. The Rise of Skywalker director is currently out doing press for the upcoming final installment in the Skywalker Saga. Abrams is no stranger to controversy after taking on the Star Trek franchise and then hoping on board with Lucasfilm for 2015's The Force Awakens, so when he first read Rian Johnson's script for the second installment in the latest trilogy, he could appreciate what the director was trying to get across.
In a new interview, J.J. Abrams was asked about The Last Jedi. The movie is heavily divisive amongst Star Wars fans of all ages, even two years after it hit theaters. Specifically, Abrams was asked about killing off Supreme Leader Snoke, after Abrams had built him up to be a major villain in 2015. Abrams had this to say about his first impressions of the script.
"When I read his first draft, it made me laugh, because I saw that was his take and his voice. I got to watch cuts of the movie as he was working on it, as an audience member. And I appreciated the choices he made as a filmmaker that would probably be very different from the choices that I would have made. Just as he would have made different choices if he had made Episode VII."
The Last Jedi is a movie that keeps first-time watchers on their toes as it goes in unexpected directions. Even J.J. Abrams was surprised by the risks that Rian Johnson took while crafting the story, but there was one particular part in the story that really surprised Abrams, much like it did to all Star Wars fans. That storyline has to do with Luke Skywalker. The director explains.
"I felt the biggest surprise was how dark Luke was. That was the thing that I thought: 'Oh, that was unexpected.' And that's the thing The Last Jedi undeniably succeeds at, which is constant subversion of expectation. The number of things that happened in that movie that aren't the thing you think is going to happen is pretty fun."
Many were under the assumption that The Rise of Skywalker was going to retcon The Last Jedi. However, that doesn't seem to be the case at all, according to J.J. Abrams. The Force Awakens was supposed to be the only movie that Abrams directed, but Disney ended up letting Colin Trevorrow go from the third installment, so he was thrown back in to finish the story, though things never went as far off the tracks as one would assume. Abrams had this to say.
"I had a real sense with (Force Awakens co-screenwriter) Larry Kasdan about where things would go, potentially. And I think that, when I read Rian's script, what I felt was that with everything that happens in that movie, and quite a lot does, nothing sort of obviated a sense of inevitability where I thought the story could go."
Rian Johnson is still getting ready to develop his own Star Wars trilogy, but we don't really know anything about it just yet. We do know that it will focus on a new set of characters and it will be outside of the Skywalker Saga. With that being said, we still have The Rise of Skywalker to look forward to next month. The interview with J.J. Abrams was originally conducted by Rolling Stone.