11:48 am EDT, October 19, 2017

J.J. Abrams wants to ‘go elsewhere’ with ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

While the new Star Wars trilogy appears to roughly follow the structure of the first, returning director J.J. Abrams hints that they’re changing it up for the finale.

The announcement that The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams would be replacing Colin Trevorrow as Episode IX director was met with mixed reactions from the Star Wars fanbase.

On the one hand, we know that Abrams can make a solid Star Wars film, and if you’ve become invested in Rey and Finn’s story, it’s heartening to know that the man who started it all will also be wrapping up this chapter of the saga.

However, there’s also the risk of it being more of the same — which The Force Awakens already was, closely mirroring A New Hope — and Abrams is himself aware of that worry.

Related: Star Wars: The Last Jedi: I’m a Reylo shipper but I don’t want it to be canon

In a recent BBC interview, Abrams said, as quoted by Star Wars News Net:

“I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids, loving what these movies were. And at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven’t gone, and that’s sort of our responsibility. It’s a strange thing – Michael’s worked on things like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek and Star Wars, and these are the things of dreams. Yet we can’t just revel in that; we have to go elsewhere.”

That suggests the Star Wars saga will move beyond nostalgia, propelling the universe into a new era and, perhaps, letting the main characters’ stories diverge from the original trio’s (although we wouldn’t mind if Finn and Poe’s stories kept mirroring Leia and Han’s).

Even though the upcoming The Last Jedi trailer paints a picture strikingly similar to The Empire Strikes Back — as evidenced by this fan-cut trailer — we’re expecting a few twists and turns that fans won’t see coming.

How this will shape Episode IX obviously remains to be seen, but Abrams’ comments have left us curious about where exactly this Star Wars story is going to go!

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