Rian Johnson

Abrams elaborates and praises Johnson’s screenplay for the next installment:

When Rian who I admire enormously and adore, came on board, we met and talked with him about all the things we were working on and playing with, and he as a spectacular writer and director has taken those things and has written an AMAZING script that I think will be an incredible next chapter, some of which incorporating things we were thinking of and other things are things we could never of dreamed of.

Does Rian Johnson read the Force Awakens script and give notes, suggesting changes or additions for things he maybe wants to seed early for his film? Abrams says the process was somewhat collaborative:

There were a handful of things we talked about that were going to be helpful to him. Some were very easy to do, and some things were things that I didn’t want to do for other reasons, but I tried to be as accommodating as I could. And its so cool to see what happens next in a way that only someone as talented as Rian could do.

D23 coverage

Kennedy admits that Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow will probably end up having a more involved collaboration with Rian Johnson:

I think Colin [Trevorrow] will end up doing more of that more-so with Rian as he develops Episode IX.

This makes sense as Trevorrow is coming in to direct the conclusion of this new sequel trilogy, and it’s essentially a third act of the story structured by Abrams and Johnson. As for JJ Abrams’ involvement in the future of the franchise, Kennedy told me:

His involvement on VIII and IX will really just be an executive producer, and really just to continue the storytelling.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th.

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