There has been some criticism from Star Wars fans that Lucasfilm, J.J. Abrams, and Rian Johnson jumped into making the sequel trilogy without a concrete plan and potentially led to some contradictory moments between the three massive movies.
This was highlighted when director Colin Trevorrow’s unmade version of Episode IX, Star Wars: Duel of The Fates, was pretty much scrapped by the studio for something completely different from Abrams and screenwriter Chris Terrio with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Concept artwork and the script for Duel of The Fates made it’s way online placing a spotlight on those scrapped plans, reinforcing the narrative that the studio didn’t have a master plan for this trilogy from the start.
Abrams was doing a round of press interviews to help promote the 4K UHD Blu-Ray home release of his alien adventure film Super 8, where he was asked by Collider if they should have had a plan for the Star Wars trilogy beforehand. The filmmaker gave a mixed repose giving the pros and cons of both.
ABRAMS: “There are projects that I’ve worked on where we had some ideas but we hadn’t worked through them enough, sometimes we had some ideas but then we weren’t allowed to do them the way we wanted to. I’ve had all sorts of situations where you plan things in a certain way and you suddenly find yourself doing something that’s 180 degrees different, and then sometimes it works really well and you feel like, ‘Wow that really came together,’ and other times you think, ‘Oh my God I can’t believe this is where we are,’ and sometimes when it’s not working out it’s because it’s what you planned, and other times when it’s not working out it’s because you didn’t [have a plan].”
“You just never really know, but having a plan I have learned – in some cases the hard way – is the most critical thing, because otherwise you don’t know what you’re setting up. You don’t know what to emphasize. Because if you don’t know the inevitable of the story, you’re just as good as your last sequence or effect or joke or whatever, but you want to be leading to something inevitable.”
The main quote mentioned at the top of the interview piece suggests that Abrams laments not having a plan with their Star Wars movies.
ABRAMS: “I do think that there’s nothing more important than knowing where you’re going.”
J.J. Abrams has since moved to WarnerMedia with a massive deal to develop films/television series for the media company and Lucasfilm is looking beyond the Skywalker Saga with Patty Jenkins directing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron as the next big Star Wars release for December 2023. Other films in development stages are coming from Taika Waititi and Rian Johnson, neither are expected to continue the Rey Skywalker journey.