J.J. Abrams Explains Why He Almost Passed On Star Wars: Episode IX


After having an extremely positive experience making The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams was relieved when the film became an international blockbuster, proof that he achieved his goal: not killing the franchise. Rather than direct another entry and risk reversing that outcome, he was content to move on to other opportunities—until Colin Trevorrow was fired from Episode IX, causing the project to fall into Abrams’ lap.

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” he told Fast Company. “I wasn’t the guy, you know? I was working on some other things, and I had something else that I was assuming would be the next project, if we’d be so lucky. And then Kathy Kennedy called and said, ‘Would you really, seriously, consider coming aboard?’ And once that started, it all happened pretty quickly. The whole thing was a crazy leap of faith. And there was an actual moment when I nearly said, ‘No, I’m not going to do this.’”

However, Abrams’ experience on The Force Awakens gave him the confidence—and enthusiasm—he needed to return for more. “I feel like we managed to introduce these new characters—for some people, new actors—and continue a story in a way that I thought had heart and humanity and humour and surprise,” he said. “Though of course I’m aware that there are critics of that movie, it felt to me like we dodged a bullet. Like we got in there, we got to do something. And I left loving Star Wars as much as I did when I got there.”

Star Wars: Episode IX arrives in theatres on December 20. The title and trailer should be unveiled any day now.