“Star Wars: Episode IX”— can J.J. Abrams fix “The Last Jedi”?

Star Wars: Episode IX dir. J.J. Abrams 2019

Star Wars: Episode IX is in the hands of J.J. Abrams and he's definitely doing things his way.

Star Wars: Episode IX is on the way with a release date of December 20, 2019. Along with Avengers: Endgame, J.J. Abrams third and final film in the new trilogy is arguably the most hotly anticipated cinematic event of the year. Fans are incredibly excited to see how the Skywalker saga will end, but after Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, they're also very nervous.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens was released in 2015 and saw the popular franchise's triumphant return to the big screen. It was a huge success; the only major complaint was that it perhaps resembled the original films a little too much. However, most were quick to argue that it needed to get back to basics after the highly disputed prequel trilogy and that Abrams needed to take the series back to its roots before any significant deviations were made. Well, any who found The Force Awakens too safe must have had a very different experience with The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) took over directorial duties from Abrams to deliver a controversial follow-up. For the most part, critics praised Johnson for his progressive attitude to the series, yet audiences were much more divided. Some love it passionately, with others deeply despising it - it's a film which provokes a strong response. There are certain narrative and character arcs which stumped viewers and they still remain a talking point for fans today. In the wake of The Force Awakens, nobody could have anticipated that Episode IX would be approached with such scepticism and apprehension. 

As reported by ScreenRant, Oscar Isaac - who plays Poe Dameron - has revealed that Star Wars: Episode IX will repurpose The Force Awakens footage to further explore Dameron's relationship with General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). Fisher tragically passed away in 2016 and fans began to expect that The Last Jedi would offer her character a bittersweet send-off. Instead - and spoiler alert! - she was killed and then brought back to life in a scene which can only be described as preposterous, and that's quite a feat in a sci-fi epic like Star Wars

The fact that Abrams wants to explore their relationship more, and the footage existed to do just that, makes the decision featured in The Last Jedi feel even more unnecessary and disrespectful. An overwhelming number of fans have voiced that audiences burst into laughter when she began to float back to the ship, and that's a serious problem. It sounds like she'll play a significant role in Star Wars: Episode IX, which just makes Johnson's treatment of her character feel all the more absurd.

Hopefully, Abrams treats her character as something more than a tool for emotional manipulation that can be resurrected instantly to serve the plot. We'll just have to keep waiting on that trailer to settle some concerns.

In other news, is Jordan Peele set to sculpt a trilogy?

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