Star Wars: Episode IX is currently filming under the direction of J.J. Abrams, and one of the film’s stars recently commented on the different feeling with this production.
Oscar Isaac, who plays one of the Resistance leaders in hotshot pilot Poe Dameron, told Indie Wire about the more improvisational nature of the filming:
“The way they’ve been shooting it right now is looser than it’s been for the last two times,” he said, clarifying that Abrams has been allowing more improvisation on the set. “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.”
As Isaac notes, this is likely due in part to the return of J.J. Abrams, who has already made a very successful movie in the Star Wars universe and therefore is incredibly familiar with the process this time around. That probably gives him more freedom to try different things.
It should be noted that the first time around, with The Force Awakens, Abrams apparently was frequently tweaking the script as the process went on, but they nonetheless shot what the script called for. This time, though, the impression I get from this statement isn’t that Abrams is necessary re-writing the script on the fly but is allowing for improvisation by the actors as they film that script. It would be interesting to find out just how much this is different.
Ultimately, I know that this kind of statement could cause some Star Wars fans to freak out – just like they did last year over the discussion of how much freedom the filmmakers were given and whether there was a plan for the sequel trilogy. But as Isaac notes, the main thing is making a good movie. J.J. Abrams is an incredibly experienced and well-respected filmmaker, he’s been through this before with Star Wars, and he’s trying to bring about the most satisfying conclusion possible to the Skywalker trilogy.