Oscar Isaac Says Shooting ‘Star Wars 9’ Is Looser Than the Previous Films; Talks Leia’s Presence

A few years ago, when production was underway on Star Wars: The Force Awakens—the first new Star Wars movie in over a decade and the first one made without the creative involvement of George Lucas—everything was secret and deadly serious. There was an intensity to the production given the weight of what they were trying to pull off, and all involved were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the film ended up being a crowdpleasing hit. Now, as filming is underway on the final installment in this new trilogy, the vibe on the set of Star Wars 9 is very different.

Speaking with The Daily Beast (via Empire), Oscar Isaac reiterated earlier comments that the set of Star Wars: Episode IX is very loose and free-wheeling, noting that it almost feels as if everyone has senioritis:

Still, he says, compared to the first two installments, “there’s a looseness and an energy to the way that we’re shooting this that feels very different… It’s been really fun being back with J.J., with all of us working in a really close way. I just feel like there’s an element of almost senioritis, you know?” he laughs. “Since everything just feels way looser and people aren’t taking it quite as seriously, but still just having a lot of fun. I think that that energy is gonna translate to a really great movie.”

Image via Lucasfilm

But there’s one major aspect of Episode 9 that is quite serious, and that’s the character of Leia. Sadly, actress Carrie Fisher passed before she could complete her work on this trilogy, but director J.J. Abrams announced that the character would in fact be returning for Episode IX via some unused footage from The Force Awakens. Isaac spoke a bit about Fisher’s absence and how the film deals with Leia:

“The story deals with that quite a bit,” he says. “It’s a strange thing to be on the set and to be speaking of Leia and having Carrie not be around. There’s definitely some pain in that… It deals with the amazing character that Carrie created in a really beautiful way.”

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Fisher’s presence (or absence) is dealt with in this film, and I’m sure we’ll get our first peak early next year when the trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to drop. The film hits theaters on December 20, 2019.