Abrams helped the franchise return to the spotlight in 2015 when he helmed The Force Awakens, which kick-started a whole new trilogy.
Rian Johnson was booked to direct the follow-up, The Last Jedi, with Colin Trevorrow brought aboard to oversee Episode 9.
In 2017, however, Trevorrow parted ways with LucasFilm – and Abrams was swiftly lured back to help complete the story.
In a new interview, he has reflected on the whole incident; saying he was very reticent initially.
“Kathy Kennedy called and said, ‘Would you really, seriously, consider coming aboard?’ And once that started, it all happened pretty quickly,” he told Fast Company.
“The whole thing was a crazy leap of faith. And there was an actual moment when I nearly said, ‘No, I’m not going to do this.’
“I was trepidatious to begin with, getting involved, because I love Star Wars so much and felt like it was… It was almost, on a personal level, a dangerous thing to get too close to something that you care that much about.
“And yet, with Force Awakens, I feel like we managed to introduce these new characters—for some people, new actors—and continue a story in a way that I thought had heart and humanity and humour and surprise.
“Though of course I’m aware that there are critics of that movie, it felt to me like we dodged a bullet. Like we got in there, we got to do something. And I left loving Star Wars as much as I did when I got there.”
He went on: “And to ask to have that happen again, I felt a little bit like I was playing with fire.
“Like, why go back? We managed to make it work. What the hell am I thinking? And there was a moment when I literally said, ‘No,’ and Katie [McGrath, wife] said, ‘You should do this.’
“And my first thought was, has she met someone? And then I thought, she’s usually right about stuff.
“And when she said it, I think that she felt like it was an opportunity to bring to a close this story that we had begun and had continued, of course.”
Later in the interview, Abrams said Episode 9 is “incredibly special”.
The film’s title has not yet been revealed, but it is expected to finally be announced at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago on Friday.
Rumours of a teaser trailer at the event are also continuing to swell.
Star Wars 9 is out on December 19.
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