With debates raging on so many decisions in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the writing of its sequel might seem like a daunting, almost neverending task. Imagine how much second-guessing can go into a Star Wars screenplay, given all the fan scrutiny that awaits, no matter what choices are made. Well, J.J. Abrams seems confident about the next chapter of the "Skywalker Saga," enough to go on a talk show and reveal that the script for the movie is finished.
"We have a script, which is a big deal for me," Abrams confirmed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night. "Having a script in advance is something I haven't always been lucky enough to have."
He goes on to say that he's "writing" with Chris Terrio (Argo) but that sudden change to present tense probably shouldn't be seen as a contradiction, but we also shouldn't assume they can't make some alterations after they begin production. Still, it's good to hear that there is something firm out there. He had announced the Episode VII (The Force Awakens) script in January of 2014, well ahead of the start of shooting in May.
The screenplay for The Last Jedi was said to be complete in November 2015, ahead of that movie's principal shooting starting in February 2016. "I'm sure rewrites are going to be endless, like they always are," he added at the time. On The Late Show, Abrams confirmed that Episode IX will begin shooting in late July, so the timing of his revelation is actually a little ahead of the three and four month windows of the previous installments.
There turned out to be more issues well into the production of the standalone spin-offs, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Solo: A Star Wars Story going through their own reworking of scripts, massive reshoots and even direct rehires after filming began on those movies. With Episode IX being the concluding chapter of a saga we'll have been following for nine feature films over the span of more than 42 years, there's a good reason for its script to be considered rock solid going into its making.
Of course, unsurprisingly, we didn't learn anything regarding the content of that new script. All that's known about Episode IX for now is that it's written, it will also be helmed by Abrams, it will be scored by John Williams and it will bring back stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver. It's due to open on December 20, 2019.