J.J. Abrams sees Episode IX as the end of the Skywalker saga

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From Rolling Stone:

“[…] This trilogy will end with Abrams’ Last Jedi sequel, and after that, it sounds like the main thrust of the franchise will move into Johnson’s mysterious new movies, which look to be unconnected to the previous saga. As far as Abrams is concerned, that will be the end of the Skywalker story. “I do see it that way,” he says. “But the future is in flux.” […]”

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CinemaBlend says it’s ‘necessary’ for the sequel trilogy to acknowledge the prequel era

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From CinemaBlend:

“The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy is unquestionably a divisive topic among the space opera franchise’s fans, but whether you love those movies or hate them, they’re still important to the saga of the galaxy far, far away. As the backstory of how Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side and became Darth Vader was revealed, these three movies significantly expanded to the mythology of this universe, adding more flavor to not just the cinematic series, but the novels, comic books, video games and more. But Revenge of the Sith concluded this Star Wars era in 2005, and more than a decade later, we’re now in the midst of both another main trilogy and standalone Anthology spinoffs being released every other year. Recently, however, Star Wars: Episode IX director J.J. Abrams and writer Chris Terrio reportedly said that Episode IX will be infused with “thematic” Prequel elements. That’s a good decision, because it’s necessary to acknowledge this era of Star Wars history, no matter how polarizing it is.

[…] The events of this time period were important, particularly the Clone Wars conflict that ravaged the galaxy between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, and paved the way for the Empire’s rise. Even though that all happened half a century ago when the new trilogy unfolds, the consequences of that era left an indescribable impact on this galaxy.

Obviously not everything that from the prequels was added to the Star Wars canon was great, and there are some elements that are better left gathering dust in the proverbial corner. For instance, I doubt we’ll ever hear about midichlorians again. Still, it’s one thing for the current trilogy to maintain connections to the first Star Wars movies, but to ignore the Prequel period entirely is a disservice to the franchise. Obviously the main focus should be making Episode IX a great story, but if J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio can do that and effectively pay tribute to a period of Star Wars history that (from our perspective) only ended a little over a decade ago, then so much the better.

Of course, it remains to be seen what these Prequel elements in Episode IX will actually be. They could be something as minor as seeing a few starships from that era (I’m partial to the Naboo straighter) or hearing about Old Republic politics, to something major like a new droid army or clone operatives being activated by The First Order or The Resistance. […]”

Episode IX writer Chris Terrio reportedly said the Prequels will be referenced

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From StarWarsNewsNet:

A recent Reddit thread was just started by someone who just met with [Episode IX writer-director J.J.] Abrams and his co-writer Chris Terrio, with photographic proof:

The poster specifically went on to claim that they got to speak with Abrams and Terrio, and while they obviously couldn’t spoil anything, one thing of interest seems to be that the Prequel Trilogy will definitely be alluded to:

“They said that they’re going to be brave and there will be big surprises. I got the impression that JJ felt like he had to refresh previous Star Wars moments for a modern audience in TFA, and now it feels like they have free reign to do what they want. Apparently they’ve had no interference from Kathleen or Pablo or the Lucasfilm Story Group. 9 is also the film which unites all three trilogies and brings everything together. That’s all they would tell me.”

“I worry a little bit that the questions I was asking were too leading. I was speaking to Chris and he was talking about the OT. I said about how I grew up with the PT and the prequels were my entry point into Star Wars. I asked about elements of the PT coming into 9 and Chris said about how 9 unites all of it. He said 9 definitely makes it feel like they’re all happening in the same universe, and there would be PT elements in 9. They could be visual or thematic – he didn’t overtly say that there would be returning planets or characters from the PT or anything.”

Interestingly, this insistence that this movie is going to serve as both the conclusion of the Sequel Trilogy and the conclusion of the trilogy of trilogies lines up with the kind of vision that Colin Trevorrow wanted to bring to Episode IX:

“By the time we get to Episode IX, I look at that movie as one movie, as three movies, as six movies, and as nine movies. It’s something that needs to honor a story that has been told over a period of 40 years… I don’t want to ignore any of it, and I respect all of it. It’s something I think the fanbase is going to embrace.”

J.J. Abrams to write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX

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From StarWars.com:

“J.J. Abrams, who launched a new era of Star Wars with The Force Awakens in 2015, is returning to complete the sequel trilogy as writer and director of Star Wars: Episode IX. Abrams will co-write the film with Chris Terrio. Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Abrams, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm.

 

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.”

Mashable supports the idea of George Lucas directing Episode IX

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From Mashable:

“In August 1977, an unusually jaunty George Lucas gave an interview to Rolling Stone about his surprise summer blockbuster, Star Wars. He was full of ideas for what to do with his newfound wealth; he’d just funded a comic shop that sold original art, and was mulling a store that sold burgers and diabetic ice cream.

How about more Star Wars movies? Eh. He’d let friends like Steven Spielberg direct the next ones, Lucas said. He was only interested in directing the closing chapter in the Skywalker saga, which at the time he imagined would run to about 9 episodes.

“I want to do the last one,” Lucas said, “so I can do one twice as good as everyone else.”

When the director of Star Wars Episode IX, Colin Treverrow, was dumped by Lucasfilm Tuesday, I tweeted Lucas’ 1977 quote as if he were throwing his hat in the ring through a time warp. A surprising number of fans were into the idea.

Even after the controversy over the prequels, a surprising number of fans are into the idea of the Creator returning to save his franchise in its hour of need, fulfilling his 40-year-old prophecy.

Cool your jets, flyboys.

There are some very good reasons why this 72-year-old would not want the job of directing Episode IX — even though there’s one big reason why he should. […]

As a storyteller like Lucas knows, the idea of a redemption arc is profoundly compelling.

A younger generation of fans is already reclaiming the prequels via Reddit memes, proving the internet isn’t such a hostile place after all. If Lucas came back for Episode IX and gave us a movie as widely loved and critically acclaimed as The Force Awakens or Rogue One, he would secure his legacy and wipe over memories of the prequels tearing fandom apart.

Would he want to bring Jar Jar Binks back as a bit player? Maybe so — but he could also take some pride in filming the satisfyingly tragic end to the Binks narrative that we’ve recently seen in the world of Star Wars novels.

And for a guy who made the prequels revolve around a prophecy of “bringing balance to the Force,” there would no doubt be tremendous satisfaction in fulfilling his own prediction from four decades ago that he would direct the last sequel and make it “twice as good.”

Will Episode IX be the last? As far as Lucasfilm is concerned, it currently is; Kennedy has said the company is considering making each Star Wars film beyond that a standalone in the style of Rogue One or the upcoming Han Solo film.

We could see the continuing adventures of Rey and friends without making it an episode in the Skywalker saga — especially as it looks increasingly likely that she’s no Skywalker. Besides, Lucasfilm is kind of done with that Roman numeral numbering system, as shown by the fact that neither Episode VII nor Episode VIII were marketed with that title.

Han Solo is dead. Leia Organa, the late Carrie Fisher, will get her swan song in The Last Jedi. The only original trilogy hero likely left for Episode IX is Luke Skywalker. And who better to bring his story to completion than the guy who put himself into the character in the first place?

Think of it, the last scenes with Luke S. directed by Lucas. Talk about dropping the mic.”