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December 7, 2017

J.J. Abrams Talks Coming Back To ‘Star Wars’: “I Had No Intention To Return”

I won’t bore you with the extended history that you already know, but it boils down to this: Colin Trevorrow is out, J.J. Abrams is in. “Star Wars: Episode IX” will mark the closing chapter of the new trilogy of films, and Abrams, who successfully launched the franchise’s return with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” is stepping in after the “Jurassic World” helmer exited this summer. However, even Abrams was surprised he decided to come back, because as far as he was concerned, his time in a galaxy far, far away was over.

“I had no intention to return,” he candidly told Rolling Stone. However, to use a tired metaphor, the pull of The Force was just too strong.

“But when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in [episode] Seven. I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realize something that we hadn’t quite achieved – and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story,” Abrams continued. “The opportunity to sort of take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we begun? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up.”

For Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm, the hire means putting “Star Wars” in safe hands, which must be reassuring after very public battles with Gareth Edwards and Phil Lord & Chris Miller on the spinoff movies. But it’s not just executives who are pleased, but cast members too.

“Everyone was saying it was going to be Rian [Johnson] and everything, so I was genuinely quite surprised, and was like ‘Oh my God!’ and I started crying immediately with three people in the office,” Daisy Ridley aka Rey said. “And they were like, ‘What the fuck just happened?’ So I emailed J.J. saying, ‘Oh my God I am crying.’ And he goes, ‘Oh my God, me too.’ And then we had a conversation a few days later and we stay in touch. But we stayed in touch the whole time anyway.”

It sounds like it’ll be a family reunion on ‘Episode 9,’ which begins production next year, and opens on December 20, 2019.

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