J.J. Abrams Has Been Daring on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

J.J. Abrams compares Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to The Force Awakens in exclusive new interview in Total Film magazine saying “I found myself doing things that I’m not sure I would have been as daring to do on Episode 7.”

For director J.J. Abrams, the journey has been a long one. The filmmaker was not initially meant to help Episode 9, but returned to the series after Colin Trevorrow stepped away. Speaking to our sister publication Total Film, Abrams compared working on The Rise of Skywalker to Episode 7, The Force Awakens, which reached cinemas four years ago.

“On this one, I let myself be, at least in the way I was approaching the thing, freer,” he said. “In Episode 7, I was adhering to a kind of approach that felt right for Star Wars in my head. It was about finding a visual language, like shooting on locations and doing practical things as much as possible. And we continue that in Episode 9, but I also found myself doing things that I’m not sure I would have been as daring to do on Episode 7.”

That sounds like a cue from Rian Johnson, whose The Last Jedi was a breath of fresh air in the Star Wars universe. “Rian helped remind me that that’s why we’re on these movies – not to just do something that you’ve seen before,” Abrams said. “I won’t say that I felt constrained or limited on 7, but I found myself wanting to do something that felt more consistent with the original trilogy than not. And on 9, I found myself feeling like I’m just gonna go for it a bit more.”

You can read the full article, featuring an in-depth look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker with quotes from J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Anthony Daniels, in the latest issue of Total Film magazine available from November 15th.