JJ Abrams Will Not Let Fan Backlash Influence Star Wars Episode IX

JJ Abrams set to direct Episode IX @starwars

JJ Abrams’ body of work is very suggestive of a filmmaker whose craft is sometimes undermined by an incessant itch to placate the fans. Following the mixed reactions and backlash from Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, I’ve expressed the fear that Abrams would attempt to repudiate all of the decisions made by Johnson in the upcoming Star Wars Episode IX. However, if a recent statement on Abram’s approach to Episode IX in regards to Episode VIII’s controversy is to be an indication, my worries might be thankfully unfounded.

JJ recently sat down with Indiewire to talk Star Wars, particularly the adverse fan reaction toward The Last Jedi. Abrams stated plainly that the rabid audience reaction will in no way affect the development of Episode IX .

“There’s a lot that I would like to say about it,” the director told IndieWire. “but I feel like it’s a little early to be having the Episode IX conversation… I will say that the story of Rey and Poe and Finn and Kylo Ren — and if you look, there are three men and one woman, to those that are complaining that there are too many women in Star Wars — their story continues in a way that I couldn’t be more excited about and cannot wait for people to see.”

This is the most proposing bit of news to come out of Star Wars in a while. The trailer for Solo that dropped recently was emblematic of everything I fear for the franchise going forward — an arid rehash of all the shit we’ve been imbibing for the last four decades.

JJ Abrams’ public sentiment against the fanboy outrage puts me at ease. The iconography still goes a long way, but Star Wars can’t survive on it alone, not anymore. Star Wars needs filmmakers, with vision and gumption.

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