Amidst all the love and joy for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there was one common criticism: it felt kinda familiar. The slight sense of deja vu hardly ruined the fun but it did make some fans (including me) worry that the new trilogy wouldn't have much that was actually new to offer. Force Awakens and Star Wars Episode 9 director J.J. Abrams' assuaged some of those concerns in a recent interview with the BBC (via Star Wars News Net), speaking alongside Rogue One composer and frequent collaborator Michael Giacchino.
"Well, it’s certainly something that I’m aware of now working on Episode 9 - coming back into this world after having done Episode 7," Abrams said. "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. It’s a strange thing - Michael’s worked on things like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek and Star Wars, and these are the things of dreams. Yet we can’t just revel in that; we have to go elsewhere."
Lonely kid from a desert planet gets swept up in a massive conflict between good and evil, finds strength through the magic of friendship and also actual magic, and then helps blow up a giant planet-destroying weapon before it can be used to subjugate the galaxy: this summary applies equally to both A New Hope and Force Awakens. And it's tempting to use what we know of Star Wars: The Last Jedi to start drawing parallels with The Empire Strikes back. For instance, the team splits up while some try (and likely fail) to keep a low profile on a glamorous new city, and another is flummoxed by the wise master they worked so hard to reach.
That's super premature, of course, and I would be surprised if director Rian Johnson's take on Star Wars ends up being that predictable. With Abrams hinting that Star Wars 9 will be anything but a Return of the Jedi rehash, it sounds like there will be plenty more surprises for Star Wars fans in the years ahead.