Daisy Ridley has revealed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director and co-writer J.J. Abrams drafted scripts for Episodes VIII and IX before Rian Johnson was hired for what became The Last Jedi.
"Here's what I think I know," she told Le Magazine Geek in an article translated by a fan blog. "J.J. wrote Episode VII, as well as drafts for VIII & IX. Then Rian Johnson arrived and wrote [The Last Jedi] entirely. I believe there was some sort of general consensus on the main lines of the trilogy, but apart from that, every director writes and realizes his film in his own way. Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams met to discuss all of this, although Episode VIII is still his very own work. I believe Rian didn't keep anything from the first draft of Episode VIII."
Of course, Abrams returned in September to write and direct Episode IX following the departure of Colin Trevorrow. However, he'll likely have to jettison many of the elements from his original draft after Johnson took The Last Jedi in a direction from his original vision.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Benicio Del Toro as ‘DJ’, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Abrams' Episode IX is set to arrive in theaters on May 24, 2019.