With the Skywalker saga finishing up in December, the film arm of the “Star Wars” franchise is in a position where it has no choice but to move on – take risks, forge new paths and follow new characters if it wants to survive.
That’s one of the big draws for Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige whom we know is coming onboard the franchise sometime in the near future. Speaking with THR this week, Feige can’t say much beyond confirming he’s planning on doing something original: “I love that world and I love the notion of exploring new people and new places in that universe. But that’s sort of all that can be said for now.”
He’s also not worried about possible franchise fatigue, saying: “Well they’ve made about five movies in about five years and it’s made over five billion dollars, so I think they’re doing just fine with Star Wars. And Rise of Skywalker looks incredible to me.”
Before he gets around to it, we still have J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” to come. Abrams of course is coming back to the franchise in the wake of both his own “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which was criticised for playing things too safe and familiar, and Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” which did take risks and got slapped down by parts of the “Star Wars” fandom for its heresy.
The obvious thought is that Abrams’ involvement means he’s there to “right the ship” in the eyes of the ‘Last Jedi’ haters, steering the franchise to a satisfying and familiar ending for fans. That’s not the case though says Abrams when Total Film (Via Games Radar) recently asked him how ‘The Force Awakens’ compares to ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ in terms of his directorial approach:
“On this one, I let myself be, at least in the way I was approaching the thing, freer. 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.
Rian helped remind me that that’s why we’re on these movies – not to just do something that you’ve seen before. 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.”
Series star Daisy Ridley recently spoke of a scene they shot for the film on their last day in Jordan, telling Andro Cinema: “the crew was shaken in a way I had not seen before” which suggests Abrams may very well be fulfilling his promise. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” arrives on December 20, 2019.