J.J. Abrams Already Regrets Not Directing ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’

J.J. Abrams Star Wars Episode VIII
Matt Baron/REX Shutterstock

J.J. Abrams is evidently already having second thoughts about his decision to step out of the director’s chair for the next “Star Wars” film.

Abrams’ lifelong friend Greg Grunberg told The Washington Post that he has never heard the director express regret in such great capacity.

“He read it and said something he never, ever says,” Grunberg, who plays X-Wing pilot Snap Wexley in “The Force Awakens,” told The Washington Post. “He said, ‘It’s so good, I wish I were making it.’ He may have said something one time on ‘Lost’ with Damon [Lindelof], but I never hear him express regret like that.”

Abrams’ successor is Rian Johnson, best known for his films “Brick” and “Looper.” The writer-director was given early cuts of “The Force Awakens” by Abrams to help ease the transition between the two directors.

Although no longer directing, Abrams will be staying on with the “Star Wars” franchise as an executive producer.

But Abrams isn’t the only person who has given a ringing endorsement for “Episode VIII’s” script. Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in “The Force Awakens,” told Variety that the screenplay was good.

“It’s very good; very good,” she said.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is now playing in theaters, and “Episode VIII” is slated for May 26, 2017.

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  1. Austin says:

    “He regrets not to directing Star Wars 8”- Oh my Gosh. He has to APOLOGIZE to all the fans round over the world that he directed Stwar Wars 7. Shame on you J J Abrams

    • Pickle says:

      how does re-creating the amazingness of Star Wars, fixing everything the prequels destroyed, and making a stand alone awesome film require an apology?

  2. Tina88 says:

    Star Wars episode 7 was the worst movie of the saga until now. Reason: director, story, actress/actor.
    1) director: J J Abrams proved that he is NOT the right guy to direct a Star Wars OR a Star Trek movie. In the Star Trek reboot in 2009 he has make a great job in the first. He recast the characters of Kirk, Spock, Bones etc. The story was great. A new one. Everyone who saw Star Trek know what I mean. But after the first movie, in the second movie: only a copy from the part 2 of Star Trek back in the 80`s, only with a nice change of the characters. The basic of the story as the same. No new creativity/development. In Star Wars episode 7 he has done the same thing: nothing new, only a mix from episode 4 till 6. Sorry I´m a great fan of Star Wars and I wished I had seen a new development, a new story, a new challenge. But J J Abrams totally failed.
    2) story: like I said before: only a rip-off from the first triology (especially part 4). The THIRD Death Star, only with another “ostentatious” name. story was boring and foreseeable. Worst thing; the new chairman of LucasArts; Kathleen Kennedy said in an interview with George Lucas: “The main thing is to protect these characters, who created from George….to make sure they continue to live in the way that you created them.” The first thing in part 7: killing Han Solo. GREAT and a betray to George Lucas and all the fans of the character.
    3) actress/actors: yes only ACTRESS singular, and actors- plural. Because everything was make by Daisy Ridley. She can flight the Millenium Falcon (great pilot), can use the force without training (mind-trick and light saber fight), beat up the bad guy in the first fight, who is more a frustrated kid as a Sith Lord. And she is a great mechanic too. So for what reaosn you need the ACTORS like Oscar Isaac and John Boyega? I see no reason for that. Because Daisy Ridley can do everything by her own, without help or support. She DOESN´T need any support. That is a typical overloading of a character, the reason is obviously. But Daisy Ridley is no Jennifer Lawrence or like she already said in an interview; no Keira Knigthley, who are both GREAT actresses with great performance and great convincing in their roles.
    Sorry but episode 7 was a great dissapointing for every real Star Wars fan. The greatest mistake of GL was too sold the rights on Star Wars to Disney and give responsibility to the new chairman: K.K, who already showed that she was the WRONG choice.

    • Pickle says:

      1)Star trek was a completely separate endeavor
      2) Han dying is the only possible way that it could have played out short of a) not having him in the movie or b) subtracting from his badassery
      3) it’s unclear whether you think Daisy Ridley is too good for co-actors/actresses or whether you think she’s not good enough to be a stand alone female, but that doesn’t matter, as both accounts are wrong

  3. Tessa says:

    I absolutely loved Episode 7…maybe because it was a recycled ep4 but who cares that’s what you nostalgic fans wanted. You claimed you hated the prequels and then when you are given the things you asked for, you whinge. get over it, nothing will be as good as the originals and it’s time to accept that. For all you complaining that JJ killed Han, he NEEDED to die, for the franchise’s sake and Harrison’s. Stop complaining and evolve like true fans would.

    • Pierre says:

      the prequels received a lot of hate, but for the wrong reason. the prequels actually has the best storyline so far in star wars. when they decided to “fix” the prequels they ditched everything it had done right along with it. it just happens that it was directed like crap, and had a bad main actor, too many childish things and cheesy dialog. in episode 7, instead of making another epic story with interesting complex elements like the prequels, they just recycled the simpler original story, and did so in a very clumsy way, while trying to play on the nostalgia by tricking the fans into thinking they were watching the originals with visual elements, which led to so many inconsistencies it’s impossible to count. sure the originals had a few plot holes here and there, but the flow and execution was ideal and ahead of it’s time, and they were, well, original.

    • Pizza321 says:

      Claiming a character needs to die to move forward in a story is just an excuse, not to mention the death sucked anyway.

    • Evan says:

      Tessa, fan evolution is an act of sheer will and a process of rebirth, so your fan outreach in these dark times is appreciated.

  4. Terry says:

    Yep, Abrams does us all the favour with that, NOT directing SW Viii, and hopefully no other SciFi movie ever,ever,ever. The man has no ideas, creativity and copied all from the other movies. What a shame for a director. Like with his work about the TV show Lost, which downhill from season to season. Hopefully J J Abrams will get lost from the Director chair.

  5. Matt Zed says:

    I thought Ep7 was a great introduction. JJ Abrams has also defended criticism about Ep7 being a rip-off.

  6. I am not a fan of SW7. The story was weak where is wasn’t just stolen from Lucas’ episode 4-6. The main Villian was beat by the hero in the first movie. Way to cut the legs from under a villian I no long fear. SW7 should have taken the new case and dropped them in a world of fear and chaos. Instead we were left with the weakest cliff hanger ever. They should have had Luke in the beginning of the movie and show him running. Maybe even given us a hint to the reason why he ran. Then we should see him until maybe the middle of the end of the next movie.
    Finn’s character was the worst. A trash collecting Storm Trooper? And the one major Black character in the movie, that happened to be a Trooper and he’s shown as a coward? Way to go JJ.
    Giving Ford what he wanted and killing him was fine. The man never seem to have the heart in it. But JJ, you should have killed 2 birds. Leia should have been the one Kylo killed in the opening of the movie. She should have been searching for Luke only to have Kylo find her and kill her. Then Han could have went after Ren only to find he couldn’t kill him. Fisher should not be in the next movie but her character needs to die on screen and you failed with that.

    So happy JJ is not filming SW8. While the movie looks great, there is no story here. or the story we’ve been given is just so bad. The movie is a one shot. We won’t be saying anything good about SW7 in a year, while we’ll still be talking about the Trilogy until someone makes a better SW movie.

    • til says:

      Yep, you are soooo right. Jar Jar Abrams an Disney ruined the whole Star Wars universe. The story was only a copy/paste of SW iV till VI, the bad “whiny guy” disappointed in every way as villian, and the hero, Daisy Ridley, could do the whole things without any help of Han, Finn or Poe or training with the lightsaber. In conclusion, she is a goddess, an all-round Jedi, pilot, mechanic, and she bet the evil villian, who will come in the next two films, in a light saber duel at the end of the first movie of the triology.

      Jar Jar Abrams is the worst director ever for Sci Fi- movies.

      • Really people says:

        People seem to forget that Luke had almost 0 training with the lightsaber yet was able to almost hold his own against Vader.
        He had one training session with the floating laser droid and that’s it.

  7. Karlos says:

    good news, get out from Star Wars Jar Jar Abrams

    • Luke says:

      Obi wan was with Luke most of star wars one, and Luke didn’t face Vader until end of two after some training with Yoda, he only fought storm troopers up to that point

  8. JGL says:

    this article literally says nothing of worth.

  9. I’m so happy he isn’t. Maybe the camera will stay sill for one single second. I was almost dizzy and sick by the end of ep 7 from all those fast zooms and camera swings.

  10. That’s funny. I regret him directing Episode 7. And anything else he’s directed. This guys irritated me since Super 8.

  11. Chris H says:

    Since he’s sorta free, is it too much to ask JJ to fix the prequels — either with a Special Edition or by just outright redoing them???

  12. Timo says:

    OMG, thank Goodness, that Abrams won´t direct the next Star Wars movie, because he has already ruined everything, the whole Star Wars universe of George Lucas. He did not bring any new innovation, story, development in Part VII. Only thing are the special effects, which make the movie to a success. On the contrary, he got Star Wars episode iV till Vi and make a mix from the original movies. *SPOILER* and than in the end he killed one of the favourite characters from the Star Wars Saga……only want to say, be careful Steven Spielberg if you plan your next Indiana Jones movie…..
    Hopefully Abrams will do us a favour and get lost….in the Star Wars universe and will never come back.

    • fuku says:

      Timo, youre a moron. The director doesnt make up the story line and besides, Lucas already ruined the franchise.

    • Greggreen29 says:

      As mentioned elsewhere, Lucas ruined his own franchise with the Prequel trilogies. His priorities seemed to be first, marketing action figures to children, hence Jar Jar Binks and non-acting Anakin; second, to have a bunch of spectacular CGI; third, to have a nice place indoors with a comfy chair that he didn’t have to get out of when directing actors in front of the green screen. Finally, maybe, a script that might tie all this stuff together to make sense, but if got to be too much work, just skip the make sense part.

      He ruined The Force as a spiritual force and made it mere biology. He ruined the idea of Yoda as a cerebral monk and made him a hyper jumping light saber swinging critter.

      While this was fairly derivative of the original trilogy, it was still entertaining. More importantly it breathes life back into the franchise and raises the average quality back to the original levels.

  13. Rusalen says:

    I won’t go watch Star Wars! I don’t want them to intrude me their new ideas!
    I won’t watch the new Star Wars because I love the old ones! I don’t want to change my opinion and to spoil my mood!
    And I see that they control very well the critics. There is no info about the scenario or anything-give your money for a ticket and you will see! They should have given more money for the special effects-we have already seen these!

  14. Mike Crowley says:

    While the film certainly has its flaws (some of which are rather large) the film’s strengths greatly outweigh its flaws. A good thing to keep in mind when being drowned in today’s world of negative opinion. It’s cool to not like the film but some “hatred” towards the picture can sometimes be over emphasized due to the film’s over reliance on nostalgia but in the end it’s a great fun ride which is all i could ask for!

    • Duder NME says:

      Oh good, another review that liked this film ONLY because it wasn’t the prequels. That is why you fail.

      Force Awakens features as much CGI as any Republic Episode.

  15. Randy says:

    Why would anyone want JJ back? He F’up Star Wars the same way he F’ed up Star Trek. JJ doesn’t understand the Science part of Science Fiction. And the story sucked. A poor re-make of A New Hope. Ren is a poor imitation of Vader, First Order poor imitation of The Empire, Snoke poor imitation of The Emperor, StarKiller Base poor imitation of Death Star. Rey is the new Luke, Finn is the new Han, and BB8 is the new R2. Why can’t anyone else see this???

    • tsc says:

      I liked the the new Star Wars (and the new Star Trek) myself, so, while I generally agree with your assessment of the film as a remake, I think it is a pretty good one. And Finn is not the new Han. Poe is the new Han, and Finn is the new Leia.

    • Till says:

      See it exactly in the same way, on the other side, what do you expect from a director, who already admitted (think in an interview at beginning of December 2015) that “fans will be disappointed” ; I think that´s a sign that he does not believe on his own movie. how poor.

    • Raheen says:

      I completely agree….they polished off and recycled episode 4. I was annoyed by this immediately…I’m surprised more people aren’t dating this because it was SOOO blatant!

    • Smells Like Teen Spirit says:

      Apparently poor Randy is a loser. Tell Mr. Abrams about how bad he did on Sunday night after the movie’s receipts are counted. It looks like it will have grossed $1 Billion globally by then. Have to laugh at these critics in diapers.

    • Jacques Strappe says:

      Your opinion is obviously not shared by a great majority of film critics and fans who have resounding given this Star Wars film a big, big thumbs up. The way I look at The Force Awakens, it had to rekindle the magic of the original films from 3 decades ago and introduce some new young protagonist characters to fill the void left by Hans and Luke and antagonist Darth, etc. This Star Wars film had to appeal to a legion of original fans, many of whom were disappointed by the last few films like the Phantom Menace, and appeal to a brand new generation of young kids. I thought it was a huge success on all levels and lots of fun to watch. Abrams Star Trek was awesome as well. I hope he returns to direct subsequent Star Wars films. Collin Trevorrow is a very marginal director attached to a film (Jurassic World) that was a huge box office hit in spite of his unimpressive direction, not because of it.

    • Michael says:

      Spot on Randy, Star Wars 7 was a hot gross mess…

    • John Pain says:

      Star wars is not Science Fiction – it’s fantasy.

  16. Tyler says:

    JJ should replace Trevorrow for Episode IX !!! Or anyone for that matter. Jurassic World was VERY poorly directed. Way too much bad CGI and all scenes with dialogue were extremely cringey. And no style or passion! Did you see his interview on the Star Wars red carpet? He could not have sounded less excited. You would have thought he was talking about a bee documentary. Meanwhile, JJ’s passion pours out in every interview he does. Trevorrow does not have the passion or creative talent Star Wars deserves!

    • daveolden says:

      The person most responsible for choosing and hiring Colin Trevorrow, is Lucasfilm CEO and Star Wars Executive Producer Kathleen Kennedy.
      Perhaps you feel your judgment is superior to a woman who has been producing movies since 1981 (her IMDB lists 82 completed projects, and 11 more in the works).
      Call her up, do lunch. However you contact her, she is the ONLY one who can replace Trevorrow.

  17. Will says:

    Why does everyone assume that they will stop with episode 9? George Lucas was the one that wanted three films after Jedi. George Lucas no longer own Star Wars or has anything to do with the movies. I will bet there’s an episode 10, 11 and 12 if there is money to be made. Daisy Rae will look like Carrie Fisher by the end of this hexology.

  18. Will says:

    Daisy really like the script. Probably because she has the most lines. Think about it. She’s not exactly unbiased.

    If Disney really wants Abrams back, they will buy out the contract of the other guy and give episode 8 back to Abrams.

  19. DougW says:

    You say Daisy Ridley thought the script was great, then quote her as saying it’s very good. Great > Very Good.

  20. onexupdate says:

    2017 for SWVIII? I wonder if that means SWIX will be in 2019. Ugh! Maybe they should take a queue from Peter Jackson’s working the 3 Lord of the Rings movies at once. LOL. I know that’s gotta be a lot of work so it may be unrealistic, But it was sure good to see them back-to-back 2001, 2002, 2003.

  21. Edward says:

    With all due respect to Colin Trevorrow, I would love to see J. J. Abrams finish what he started. Why not have Trevorrow design a separate, original trilogy?

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