Oscar Isaac has shared one detail that he feels separates his role on the Episode IX set from his work on the previous two Star Wars movies: there’s more freedom with the dialogue and improvisation in his acting.
Speaking to IndieWire, Isaac explained that he had more freedom to alter his dialogue:
“The way they’ve been shooting it right now is looser than it’s been for the last two times. It does feel like a relief to get on set and feel like, ‘Oh, we can try things.’ It’s a testament to J.J. coming back and feeling confident. There’s less pressure for it to be right. We just want to make a good movie and have a really good time while doing it.”
Considering that a big reason that Phil Lord and Chris Miller lost the Solo directing gig was that there was too much improvisation (to the point where it was taking way too long to film major scenes), this seems like an ironic twist. But it seems that there’s more confidence from Lucasfilm in J. J. Abrams’s ability to deliver than there was for the directing duo, and it’s not like improvised dialogue is new for this franchise (with an abundance of cases found throughout the Original Trilogy’s dialogue and plenty of lines in The Force Awakens, including the “So, who talks first?” quip that Oscar Isaac ad-libbed).
With this in mind, it seems likely that the overall story for Episode IX is largely set in stone; Abrams specifically noted that he was happy to have a completed script well ahead of the start of filming, whereas he didn’t feel he got that privilege with The Force Awakens. So if Episode IX plays to Abrams’s strengths as a director, coupled with his prior experience in the Star Wars sandbox, perhaps there will be more room for experimentation along the way as a forty-plus-year story draws to its conclusion.
Star Wars Episode IX will be released on December 20, 2019.