Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres on December 18th, but it’s never too early to think about the Star Wars movies that are coming next. While we have no idea what happens in The Force Awakens, we do know that the script for Star Wars Episode VIII is already finished, director J.J. Abrams has confirmed.
In an extended interview with Wired, Abrams explained his Star Wars vision and what he tried to accomplish with the movie. The pressure is immense both for the director and the studio, as Star Wars VII’s success will have tremendous implications on Disney’s bottom line for the foreseeable future, both when it comes to box office numbers and future merchandising plans.
Abrams explained that his Star Wars film can easily be enjoyed by moviegoers who have not seen any of the six episodes that preceded it, as it’s presenting a standalone story. Naturally, fans of the series will recognize the roots of the Force Awakens, thanks to the many ties to the past episodes.
But his story also sets in motion events that will continue in the following two episodes.
“The script for VIII is written,” Abrams explained. “I’m sure rewrites are going to be endless, like they always are. But what Larry [Kasdan] and I did was set up certain key relationships, certain key questions, conflicts. And we knew where certain things were going.”
“We had meetings with Rian [Johnson] and Ram Bergman, the producer of VIII,” Abrams added. “They were watching dailies when we were shooting our movie. We wanted them to be part of the process, to make the transition to their film as seamless as possible. I showed Rian an early cut of the movie because I knew he was doing his rewrite and prepping. And as executive producer of VIII, I need that movie to be really good. Withholding serves no one and certainly not the fans. So we’ve been as transparent as possible.”
Apparently, Johnson asked for certain hooks that he needs “here and there” for his story, to which Abrams agreed.
“So the story he told took what we were doing and went in the direction that he felt was best but that is very much in line with what we were thinking as well,” Abrams said. “But you’re right—that will be his movie; he’s going to do it in the way he sees fit. He’s neither asking for nor does he need me to oversee the process.”