CINEMA – The director of Awakening the Force and of The Rise of Skywalker suggests that his work on the saga should have been better planned.
Concluded almost a year and a half ago with the release of The Rise of Skywalker , the last trilogy Star wars was widely appreciated in the dining room. Mitigated in turn by JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson, two directors with the opposite style, the trilogy did not fail to appear like a gargantuan exquisite corpse. Already asked at the arrival in 2017 of the surprising entry of Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi ) then updated with its antithetical sequel in December 2019, a question remained since then on the lips of all the spectators taken aback by the disjointed nature of these films: would not the trilogy have gained by being better conceived from the outset? This is what JJ Abrams seems to regret today. “I learned – sometimes the hard way – that having a plan is the most important thing”, he slipped in an interview with Collider published Wednesday.
Asked about the benefits that a story written in advance could have brought to the trilogy, the American director spoke at length on the subject of planning within the creative industries. “I feel like the lesson I’ve learned many times now (…) is that you should always plan things as best you can, and always be able to cope with the ‘unexpected. Because the unexpected can take all kinds of forms, did he declare. I think there is nothing more important than knowing where we are going ”. It has not always been the case. Like television productions, an area he has known well since the days when he co-piloted the seriese Lost, the choice of flexibility seems to have prevailed around its recent projects, with its advantages as well as its disadvantages. “Things that we thought were very well received went wrong while others that we thought were just small moments or a character thought for a single episode became a very important part of the story.”, referred to the director in general terms.
Stay creative in the face of the unexpected
If he does not explicitly mention Star wars, JJ Abrams speaks knowingly. Chosen to achieve The force awakens , whose 2015 release marked the saga’s thunderous return to the big screen, the director was not originally supposed to repackage with Lucasfilm on a new episode of the film cycle. First entrusted to Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), the implementation of what would become The Rise of Skywalker was only rushed through to JJ Abrams in September 2017, after the stormy departure of the original director. More than a year now after the release of the last film, and while Star wars comes in series, the trilogy released between 2015 and 2019 is still divided. Where some hail a faithful and nostalgic reinvention of the myth developed 40 years ago by George Lucas, many have seen in this series of blockbusters only a pale and meaningless imitation of the films. originals.
You plan things a certain way and then suddenly find yourself doing something that is the complete opposite of it.
If the director is careful not to be too explicit, he admits that some of his works may have disappointed. “There are projects I worked on where we had some good ideas that didn’t come to fruition, and others where we had ideas that we weren’t allowed to do as we wanted.”, he testifies. To read between the lines, a not insignificant part of the choices which it must assume and which make the hybrid character of the trilogy, would be to put in equation with the inevitable dispossession, if not the interference, of which films of this magnitude can be subject during their production. “I’ve been through all kinds of situations where you plan things a certain way and then suddenly find yourself doing something that is the complete opposite of it,” he adds.
Even if JJ Abrams seems to prefer today the assurance of a plan well thought out in advance, he does not miss the opportunity to recall the eternal contingency of any large-scale project, whether it is meticulously prepared or not. “There are times when everything works great and we say ‘Wow, that really worked out’, while other times we say ‘My God, I can’t believe this is it. arrived there ”; sometimes it doesn’t work because of the plan, and other times it fails precisely because we don’t have one ”. Failing to have put all the spectators in agreement, the last films Star wars in any case did not fail to give a smile to Disney and a few shovelfuls of billions. With its experience, Lucasfilm will perhaps start on a better basis with the next feature film dedicated to our galaxy far – very far – favorite.
To see also – Are the villains the new heroes of the series?