After the phenomenal success of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams is happy to bask in galactic glory of the revitalized franchise while taking a back seat to future films.
Though he's partially responsible for the movie's return to form, Abrams won't be helming the next two sequels, Episode VIII and Episode IX. He'll still be involved in an executive producer capacity, but he's giving the director chair to Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow for the respective sequels. And that's just the way he wants it.
In an interview with Fortune at SxSW, Abrams admitted he's happy to quit while he's ahead:
“It was a wonderful way to visit a place that meant so much to me and obviously so many. I knew that if it worked, it was the perfect time to step down – and if it didn’t, no one would want me to do it anyway.”
I think we can all agree that Abrams' Star Wars debut definitely worked, but I must admit I'm a little bummed we won't see more from him. Still, Episode VIII director Johnson was responsible for some of the best episodes of Breaking Bad, so I have high hopes for his take. As it turns out, so does Abrams:
“I’m very happy to be where I am. Rian Johnson is brilliant and needs no help from me. As executive producer, I’ve been collaborating with them, but they are obviously doing all of the heavy lifting and it’s very exciting to see what’s going on.”
It seems that Abrams knows the future of Star Wars is in good hands and I'm inclined to follow his lead.