One of the cool things about the Star Wars sequels is that they’ve created a group of appealing characters. People who watched the prequels didn’t get that. We got whiny Anakin Skywalker, please-go-away Jar Jar Binks, and a host of other characters that fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars assure us are good as long as you didn’t watch the movies that introduced those characters. Meanwhile, we’re all on board with Rey, Finn, Poe, and pretty much everyone else that we met in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Colin Trevorrow, who’s set to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, is well aware of this affinity, and he wants to make sure that his sequel will connect with all of the young fans who will spend the rest of their lives loving these new characters. He tells Fandango:
“Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia were all characters that we were able to identify with in various ways, and especially with the character of Rey and what she means to young girls right now, and the challenges that she’s up against. It is extremely crucial that I understand what actual children are feeling about these stories that we’re telling them, and I think it’s important that I have kids, and if filmmakers don’t have kids, they should go talk to them because they don’t see things the same way that we did when we were kids. So, yes, I am very dialed in to that because I think it’s a requisite of the job.”
It’s encouraging to hear that Trevorrow’s focus is on characters first. He’s not talking about Rey’s parentage or “Who is Snoke?”, questions that will presumably be answered in due time (they may even be answered in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi). He’s trying to focus on this story and these characters.
He also talked about the support of the story team, and while Return of the Jedi ends up as the bar against which all Star Wars movies are measured (A New Hope and Empire being seen as insurmountable and the prequels being seen as too easy to clear), Trevorrow says:
“My hope is to make it as richly satisfying as it could possibly be. I have a lot of support, and a lot of really brilliant thinkers and storytellers around me. Kiri Hart and the Lucasfilm story group, and Michelle Rejwan, and Kathy Kennedy, my producers, and J.J. [Abrams] and Rian [Johnson], and Larry Kasdan, and when you look at this army of brilliant people that we have, it’s not me alone. It’s a whole team.”
Thankfully for Trevorrow, fans aren’t really paying much attention to Episode IX at this point. All eyes are turned towards Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opens December 15th. Star Wars: Episode IX opens May 24, 2019.