Julius

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (December 20th 2019)

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The film had been scheduled for release on May 24th 2019, but that's sort of thrown up in the air by the following paragraphs.

Colin Trevorrow had been pinned down to direct, but due to one reason or another - some reports are saying that he's taken several stabs at the script with no luck, whereas others suggest that there have been creative differences between himself and the higher-ups, such as President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy, for months now - he has left the project by mutual consent.

Rian Johnson, the director of Episode VIII, due this December, is widely touted as the favourite to become the director of Episode IX, though it wouldn't surprise me if they kept the decision to make him director - if he becomes director - quiet until after Episode VIII's release to likely critical and fan acclaim (and, if this were the case, I think it would then be less likely that there is a delay in filming and, consequently, the film's release).

Episode IX is expected to begin shooting early 2018 for a 2019 release.

Edited by Julius

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I always found it weird that they had three different directors for a trilogy. I know the original Star Wars trilogy did it, but surely it must make it hard to keep the films on track?

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It's a shame for Trevorroww, I really enjoyed 'Safety Not Guaranteed' but ', Jurassic World' was a bit of a stinker so was torn on him taking on another big project. 

I don't think directors on these sort of projects have a great deal of control really, it's why Edgar Wright never directed 'Ant-Man' because Marvel didn't want him to put his own mark on the film, they want them to all fit within their planned aesthetic so producers like Kathleen Kennedy are the ones with the real control so having different directors for subsequent films doesn't really affect the flow of the franchise when the producers are ever presents.

It seems like Rian Johnson has done enough to please Disney and the higher ups at Lucasfilm with his work on Episode 8 to get the gig on Episode 9. I just hope that Abrahms doesn't throw his hat into the ring, the guy has never been a good director, his films are all passable at best and Rian Johnson is at least a guy who has worked his way up and directed a wide variety of projects, including some great episodes of Breaking Bad, so I'm optimistic that Episode 8 will be an improvement over The Force Awakens. 

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1 hour ago, bob said:

I always found it weird that they had three different directors for a trilogy. I know the original Star Wars trilogy did it, but surely it must make it hard to keep the films on track?

Whilst there was a thematic throughline in the OT, I'd argue that Return of the Jedi's director, Richard Marquand, wasn't the director in anything but title and that it was absolutely George Lucas' film (at least, much more so than The Empire Strikes Back, which Lucas' former mentor at USC, Irvin Kershner, directed) in every sense of the word, and most depictions of Jedi's production supports this.

Personally, I don't mind giving nearly everyone in Hollywood a crack at Star Wars, whether an actor/actress, director, producer or BTS guy/girl, because I love Star Wars from an outside perspective, and can't imagine how insanely happy it must make those with an inside perspective to be hired, even if only for one film. Changing the director every film also means that we should avoid a repeat of the critical panning of the prequels for a while.

However, I am beginning to worry about the amount of directors being cut from Star Wars projects due to "creative differences" with Lucasfilm, and I'm scared as to why this is happening. Phil Lourd and Chris Miller were fired from the Han Solo project just months ago, and whilst I'd argue that their comedic style would have never suited this character, "creative differences" seems to be a recurring theme, whether it comes to writers or directors. Heck, Trevorrow is the FOURTH directorial casualty since Disney took over (Josh Trank was fired from the standalone film due in 2020 which he was supposed to be directing, which was reportedly a Boba Fett project), meaning that of Disney's original six film plan revealed for 2015 - 2020, half of them have had a change in director. Whilst this is by no means any reason to freak out - it happens all the time in the movie industry, just ask DC - this strange through line seems to be stemming from the same place, so it's worth keeping an eye on. As much as I love the Lucasfilm Story Group, it's the tiniest possible that their involvement could be tarnishing creative freedom when it comes to directors.

As for Rian Johnson returning? I'm totally on board. He already has a great rapport with fans because of his actions at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim back in April, signing something for, and talking to, every single fan who queued up overnight for the The Last Jedi panel. He has seemingly fit as a cog into the Lucasfilm machine seamlessly, and with great directorial and writings credentials already (I highly, highly recommend checking out Looper, Brick or The Brothers Bloom before The Last Jedi comes out just in the event you need any more reasons to be extremely excited) and with the backing of Kathleen Kennedy it's almost a no-brainer for him to come in to write and direct IX, not to mention his great relationship with the great late Carrie Fisher means that he is arguably the director in the best position to give her the farewell that she deserves. 

I've said it plenty of times before, but I am somehow even more excited for VIII than I was for VII simply because of Rian's involvement, and whilst the film will of course share similarities with Empire - this goes without saying at this point - I think we should all be prepared to see what could potentially be a film that could leave a mark on the movie industry just as much as the aforementioned did back in 1980 come this December, not least because this will be Kylo Ren's film just as much as it will be Rey's, and so having Rian Johnson come back after giving them a great platform for growth in VIII would position him best to complete their arcs in IX. I love the idea of him returning to direct the film!

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51 minutes ago, killthenet said:

Fucking JJ Abrahms. Looks like i'll be skipping Episode IX.

Seriously? Why?

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Obviously an overreaction, I'm sure I'll still watch it but won't be expecting much. I'm just not a fan of Abrahms as a director, he should stick to producing and let some more interesting and creative directors take the helm.

If he casts Greg Grunberg again though I will be picketing outside the cinema to discourage people from watching it.

Edited by killthenet
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I'm in agreement that it's a bland choice, and certainly the safest, by a long shot, but right now I think JJ offers the stability Lucasfilm requires right now: he's a director that they already know they can work - and work well - with, and who already knows the ins and outs of writing and directing a Star Wars film. The last few months at Lucasfilm has been turbulent to say the least, so a safe choice - JJ or RJ - was to be expected, but any announcement for Rian taking the helm would have had to wait until after December to make it a smart PR move and would have left it far too right for production to kick off when planned (which currently still stands as early 2018, very likely February or March).

I think the biggest weakness of JJ's works to this point has been his reliance on his mystery box philosophy, and with many answers expected in The Last Jedi anyhow, perhaps this will free up some creative opportunities for him, as he isn't laying the groundwork for a trilogy but rather completing it. I think the more worrying news is hat he is co-writing with Oscar winner (Argo) Chris Terrio, who wrote Batman v. Superman as well as the upcoming Justice League movies.

Worth noting also that the film has also moved from May to December 2019 (the 20th to be precise), meaning it rounds out the 2019 box office against films such as an untitled live-action Disney movie (likely Mulan), Bond 25, Frozen 2 (all November) and Wonder Woman 2 (December 13th).

Perhaps even more interesting is that Deadline are reporting that Rian Johnson turned down the directorial helm of Episode IX.

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My only real gripe with JJ's directing is that he manages to make space feel really small. In both Trek and Wars the space scenes felt quite cramped, to me at least. Starkiller base felt smaller than the Death Star. The early shots of Jakku were lovely and wide, but not so much in space.

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30 minutes ago, somme said:

My only real gripe with JJ's directing is that he manages to make space feel really small. In both Trek and Wars the space scenes felt quite cramped, to me at least. Starkiller base felt smaller than the Death Star. The early shots of Jakku were lovely and wide, but not so much in space.

I feel exactly the same way. It was really telling that Rogue One (the supposed smaller scale cousin of The Force Awakens) felt far grander in scale and more epic.

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Very interesting update, courtesy of Rolling Stone, which seems to suggest that this could be the final instalment in the Skywalker Saga (thank the Force). 

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."

As far as Ridley is concerned, the future of Rey is pretty much set. She doesn't want to play the character after the next movie. "No," she says flatly. "For me, I didn't really know what I was signing on to. I hadn't read the script, but from what I could tell, it was really nice people involved, so I was just like, 'Awesome.' Now I think I am even luckier than I knew then, to be part of something that feels so like coming home now."

But, um, doesn't that sort of sound like a yes? "No," she says again, smiling a little. "No, no, no. I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films. So in my head, it's three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out."

Some might take Daisy’s words about only being signed on for three films and J.J.’s words as an argument for Rey Skywalker, but we’ll just have to wait and see :p I do seriously hope the Skywalker Saga comes to an end with IX, if only because it would feel wrong for anyone but John Williams to compose the score for such a film :)

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Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, revealed yesterday that Episode IX director J.J. Abrams will be pitching his idea for the story of the film today, during a conference.

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That really annoys me. They shouldn't be pitching stories now they should've mapped out the whole trilogy before they started shooting TFA. No wonder directors are shitting over past decisions and making the films "their own" regardless of whether it delivers a cohesive story. 

I'd already guessed episode 9 would be the last main episode:

Spoiler

Because the story will have nowhere to go after Kylo is killed. Now they've chosen to make Rey a nobody, after his death, there won't be any Skywalker blood left. 

 

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1 hour ago, somme said:

That really annoys me. They shouldn't be pitching stories now they should've mapped out the whole trilogy before they started shooting TFA. No wonder directors are shitting over past decisions and making the films "their own" regardless of whether it delivers a cohesive story. 

If things were always mapped out like that, there wouldn't have been a twist at the end of Empire Strikes Back.

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2 hours ago, somme said:

That really annoys me. They shouldn't be pitching stories now they should've mapped out the whole trilogy before they started shooting TFA. No wonder directors are shitting over past decisions and making the films "their own" regardless of whether it delivers a cohesive story. 

There was a general outline for the sequel trilogy, and places to end up by the end of  it all. Rian Johnson quite literally had a blank slate and was allowed to do almost anything in his space - it was his decision to pick up straight after The Force Awakens, for instance, because he wanted to see what happened next - with The Last Jedi, so long as it didn’t close any doors on what they had outlined initially.

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Michael Kaplan will once again return as the costume designer for IX, and principal photography has been confirmed to begin at Pinewood Studios (UK) next June.

The film’s working title will be Black Diamond, in reference to the hardest ski slope to navigate and stick the landing on. An apt working title, really, because this is going to be one heck of a slippery slope. 

Edited by Julius Caesar

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Much as I enjoyed TLJ, it's somewhat comforting to know Abrams is back in the director's chair for IX, half way between TFA's "safe" storyline and TLJ's out there plot twists suits me fine.

Re: TLJ, I'm so pleased

Spoiler

They made Rey a nobody. It would have been so ridiculously contrived had she been related to someone we knew. Much better this way.

 

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UPDATE: the script for Episode IX is complete; principal photography will begin in July. 

Edited by Julius Caesar

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Victoria Mahoney has been announced as the film’s second unit director (responsible for things like establishing shots), notably making her both the first black and the first female director of the galaxy far, far away.

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Quote

Billy Dee Williams is returning to a galaxy far, far away.

The actor, who famously played the galactic gambler Lando Calrissian, will reprise the role for Star Wars: Episode IX, the next Star Wars installment from Lucasfilm.

Chatter about Williams joining the production, which begins later this summer, increased in recent days when the actor bowed out of an upcoming sci-fi and pop culture convention citing a conflict with a movie schedule. Sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter that Williams will indeed be returning to the Star Wars big screen for the first time since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. The character made his suave debut in Empire Strikes Back.

 

 

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Now I just want Donald Faison in the movie as Lando's assistant.

Edited by Happenstance
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Seems a bit pointless to have Lando in the film when both Han and Leia won't be there. 

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