Star Wars: Episode IX Director Wants To Shoot On Location—In Space

In capturing the spirit of the original Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams laid out a clear mission statement about the film’s use of practical effects. That ideology is apparently driving the franchise’s upcoming installments as well — so much so, that Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow wants to take his sequel to space. Literally.

During a Sundance Film Festival panel called “Power of Story: The Art of Film,” Trevorrow revealed that he’s pitched the idea of shooting IMAX scenes “on location.”

“I asked the question, ‘Is it possible for us to shoot IMAX film plates in actual space for Star Wars’” he said. “I haven’t gotten an answer yet, but they’ve shot IMAX in space!”

Director Christopher Nolan, who appeared on the same panel, then chimed in by saying it’s technically a doable feat—he was able to integrate shots from space into his 2014 blockbuster Interstellar.

“Funny enough, we had that conversation with Interstellar,” he said. “There’s incredible footage from space now.”

During the same panel, Trevorrow further revealed that he wants to add to the realism by shooting Episode IX on film, as opposed to digitally (like he did with last summer’s Jurassic World). That lines up with both Abrams’ The Force Awakens, which used film, and Rian Johnson’s upcoming Episode VIII, which is also being lensed through film.

“The only place where I tend to not be able to attach myself entirely to something shot digitally is when it’s a period film,” Trevorrow explained. “There’s something in my brain that goes, ’Well, they didn’t have video cameras then,’” he said. “[Film] tends to remind us of our memories, of our childhoods, the way we used to see films.

“I could never shoot Star Wars on anything but [film] because it’s a period film,” Trevorrow continued. “It happened a long time ago!”

Trevorrow’s Episode IX doesn’t arrive in theaters until 2019, so we’ll have to wait to see if his ambitious space concept won over Disney and Lucasfilm. Is it a bold idea? Sure. Potentially budget-busting? Probably. But hey, this is a Star Wars movie—if they can’t get it done, who else could?!