Star Wars: The Last Jedi isn't even in theaters yet, but already Episode IX director JJ Abrams is giving some hints about his next installment in the franchise. Abrams was hired to helm the ninth film in the Star Wars saga in September, after it was announced director Colin Trevorrow had left the project.
As he works on the movie's script, along with co-writer Chris Terrio (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Abrams doesn't want the film to live in the past. Instead, he's looking to the future. Given that Disney, the studio behind Star Wars, will no doubt be continuing the franchise, that makes perfect sense.
During an interview alongside composer Michael Giacchino (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Abrams tells BBC Radio 4, "I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids loving what these movies were and, at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven't gone, and that's sort of our responsibility." That's a comment that could be taken both literally and figuratively.
Surely, the film will visit new planets and bring about new species of aliens--and possibly different droids--but there's more to the idea of uncharted territory in the Star Wars universe. The current trilogy continues the saga started by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in 1977's A New Hope. Over 40 years later, it may be time to explore some new story ideas.
In a galaxy as large as the one Star Wars exists in, there are plenty of stories to tell and many of them are getting the chance to shine in projects like Star Wars Rebels. Perhaps the time will come after Episode IX for a new saga to be introduced on the big screen.
It certainly sounds like something on Abrams' mind as he looks forward. "It's a strange thing. Michael [Giacchino]'s worked on things like Planet of the Apes, and Star Trek, and Star Wars and these are the things of dreams," he says. "Yet we can't just revel in that, we have to go elsewhere."
While the future of Star Wars is unknown, hearing Abrams talk about it certainly does make it exciting.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters on December 17. Star Wars: Episode IX releases on December 20, 2019. Between the two, Solo--the Han Solo standalone movie--will debut on May 25, 2018.