Making a Star Wars movie can’t be easy. Besides those bajillion dollar budgets and Deathstar-sized productions, the pressure is tremendous. There’s a legion of die-hards and lifers waiting with lightsabers sharpened to let you know it, as evidenced by the decidedly un-chill reaction to Rian Johnson‘s The Last Jedi. But according to Oscar Isaac—who played hotshot flyboy Poe Dameron in both Last Jedi and J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens—filming on the trilogy-capping Episode IX has been a breeze, with a returning Abrams encouraging more improvisation.
Speaking to IndieWire about his upcoming year-long break from acting, Isaac described the feeling on set as “looser”, with an emphasis on taking off-book risks:
“The way they’ve been shooting it right now is looser than it’s been for the last two times. It does feel like a relief to get on set and feel like, ‘Oh, we can try things.’ It’s a testament to J.J. coming back and feeling confident. There’s less pressure for it to be right. We just want to make a good movie and have a really good time while doing it.”
While this might worry those who were put off by The Last Jedi‘s humor as if Yoda didn’t whack R2-D2 with a stick in Empire Strikes Back, this really just sounds like Isaac and the returning cast felt more comfortable in that galaxy far, far away. The actor mentioned that the still-untitled ninth chapter felt “more alive” as a result:
“Often, you do feel like you’ve got to find your way to make something more alive, but this time, it’s been the opposite,” he said. “There’s no need to smuggle anything in there.”
While we still don’t have that title or any plot details, we do know that Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019. The film also stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, and Keri Russell.