Many of the criticisms surrounding the Star Wars sequel trilogy stem from the simple idea of planning. Critics have argued that the trilogy should have had a more concrete storyline mapped out from the beginning.
Now, it appears that director JJ Abrams, who helmed two of the sequel films, agrees with them, at least to a certain extent. The Hollywood sci-fi buff helmed both The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker, so he obviously played a large part in the plot and character development throughout the trilogy.
However, in a new interview with Collider, Abrams admitted that a more defined plan is something that would’ve benefited the trilogy in the long run.
JJ Abrams admits Star Wars Sequel trilogy lacked planning
It’s no secret that development on the three films wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. In particular, the jump from the subversion of expectations in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi to the seemingly large retcon in The Rise of Skywalker had some fans upset.
Abrams wasn’t even supposed to originally direct Episode IX, only joining the project after Colin Trevorrow’s exit during pre-production. Still, Abrams told Collider that the trilogy should’ve probably had a more clear direction in the beginning, despite who was in the director’s chair:
"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."
Abrams has said that the return of Emperor Palpatine was a decision that felt inevitable to him. However, given the fact that the Emperor had been seemingly dead during the previous two films, it is understandable why some fans didn’t take to the idea so kindly.
While the three sequel movies hold up well on their own, it is easy to see when watching them as a whole that there were differing visions. Perhaps creating one concrete, finalized storyline for the trilogy at the beginning would have been the way to go. More than that, using one director that was committed to making all three films would’ve probably helped drive the plot down a single road.
Even though JJ Abrams might admit that there were some flaws to the trilogy, the three films are still decent entries into the Skywalker Saga. They may have not been taken that well by all of the fans, but it’s impossible to please everybody. However, going forward, it seems like the Lucasfilm brass has probably learned their lesson when it comes to developing their trilogies.
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