J.J. Abrams Talks EPISODE IX Time Constraints and Working with Chris Terrio

J.J. Abrams has been hard at work on Star Wars: Episode IX and he has had his work cut out for him. Due to Colin Trevorrow parting ways with the project, when Abrams came onboard to finish the new trilogy and the Skywalker story, he only had about two years. That included writing the film, building sets, casting, shooting, etc.

Now that the filming is done, Abrams told FastCompany that he’s really happy about the result.

[T]o answer your question—truly, finally—now that I’m back, the difference is I feel like we might’ve done it. Like, I actually feel like this crazy challenge that could have been a wildly uncomfortable contortion of ideas, and a kind of shoving-in of answers and Band-Aids and bridges and things that would have felt messy. Strangely, we were sort of relentless and almost unbearably disciplined about the story and forcing ourselves to question and answer some fundamental things that at the beginning, I absolutely had no clue how we would begin to address. I feel like we’ve gotten to a place—without jinxing anything or sounding more confident than I deserve to be—I feel like we’re in a place where we might have something incredibly special. So I feel relief being home, and I feel gratitude that I got to do it. And more than anything, I’m excited about what I think we might have.

In the interview, Abrams also talked about working with Chris Terrio for the first time on this project and how Terrio helped Abrams reframe his perspective.

[B]ecause this was such a mega job, I knew at the very least I needed a cowriter to work on this thing, but I didn’t know who that cowriter would be. There was nothing. So the first thing I did was reach out to a writer who I’ve admired for years, Chris Terrio. who I didn’t really know, to say, “Listen, would you want to write Star Wars with me?” And he screamed...And what I realized in that moment was, I hadn’t been aware until then that I needed to work with someone who would scream at the prospect of working on Star Wars. Because I had been through the process, and I was looking at brass tacks: This is what it’s going to take, this is the reality of it. And he was looking at it sort of childlike: Oh my God, I can’t believe we get to play in this world, which I needed to be reminded of. I needed that point of view, because that’s not where I was. Of course, I was excited about what we could do, but I was acutely aware of how little time we had to do a fairly enormous job.

I am really excited to see where fans are taken in Episode IX by Abrams and Terrio. Episode IX will be in theaters on December 20, 2019.

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