Daisy Ridley says Rian Johnson took JJ Abrams' script of "The Last Jedi" and "didn't keep anything"

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Many Star Wars fans have had a particularly valid complaint for a few years now, they claim that Lucasfilm doesn't seem to have a clear narrative arc for the trilogy at hand and that all Kathleen Kennedy and company are doing is winging the plot details movie by movie. There have been clues to this being, in fact, true, the creatives writing the screenplays only after each movie has been released. However, in a new interview, Daisy Ridley is stating that not to be the case at all, in fact, she claims that J. J. Abrams had a planned screenplay for "The Last Jedi" before "The Force Awakens" – but that Johnson deviated from it.

Ridley was interviewed by Le Magazine GEEK (which I have translated thanks to my impeccable French skills), she was asked about whether or not Rey’s backstory had been decided before "The Force Awakens" or only after it wrapped up.  Ridley couldn't answer that particular question, but she did mention that the writing process had the whole trilogy planned by Abrams:

“Here’s what I think I know. J. J. wrote Episode VII, as well as drafts for VIII & IX. Then Rian Johnson arrived and wrote TLJ 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."

What I gathered from Ridley's carefully constructed wording is that Johnson took Abrams' draft of "The Last Jedi" and that Rian, according to her, "didn't keep anything from the first draft of "The Last Jedi." Yikes. 

I asked a friend that works for the Disney/Lucasfilm team to clarify what might have happened, this is what she had to say: "It's my understanding that he wrote treatments to VIII and IX before finishing VII, but Disney gave Rian the choice on whether he wanted to use any. Rian decided to start fresh."

Johnson could have easily taken over the director's chair for Episode IX, but Disney decided otherwise. They opted for Abrams, who is the brainchild behind this saga and probably saw Johnson starting to interfere with his original vision of the way things should go.  Johnson's risk-taking was a breath of fresh air but something tells me that we'll be back to business as usual with Abrams come Episode IX's release in 2019.

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