J.J. Abrams was so nervous about releasing The Force Awakens he visited Stephen Colbert just to drink

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Feb 22, 2018

Now, it sometimes feels like we'll never be rid of Star Wars on the big screen. We've had a movie per year every year since 2015, and Lucasfilm doesn't seem inclined to give that rhythm up, plus new comics, novels, and even TV series are arriving all the time. That wasn't necessarily the case back in 2015.

For writer/director J.J. Abrams, releasing The Force Awakens in December of 2015 wasn't just his chance to launch a megafranchise that's still going strong nearly three years later. It was the moment he fulfilled a childhood dream, the moment he took the torch from George Lucas, and the moment he had to face millions of fans who demanded that he didn't ruin their favorite franchise (some of whom didn't get their wish). To say he was under a lot of pressure is an understatement.

Abrams was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night to promote the Broadway show The Play That Goes Wrong (which he co-produced in his Broadway debut), but since he's now in pre-production on Episode IX, Colbert couldn't help but ask the director about Star Wars

While Abrams couldn't provide any details about the next film's plot, he did take some time to reminisce about his first go 'round in the Star Wars hot seat. That prompted Colbert to tell the story of the time a very nervous Abrams visited him in New York shortly before The Force Awakens hit theaters.

"You called me up," Colbert said. "You were in New York, and it was about two weeks before the movie opened, and you said 'Can I come to your office and just drink?'."

So, Colbert invited Abrams into his office, and they shared a couple of glasses of Irish whiskey. Abrams doesn't dispute the story, but he did clarify that he wasn't just after Colbert's booze.

"In fairness, I didn't say 'Can I come to your office and just drink?'," Abrams replied. "I said can I come to your office and drink, assuming we'd have a good conversation, and we did."

After sharing that memory, Colbert again pressed Abrams for even a little bit of Episode IX information, and the director did at least reveal that he and co-writer Chris Terrio have a script ready for a late July production start.

"Having a script in advance is something I haven't always been lucky enough to have," Abrams said. 

So, Episode IX is inching ever closer to shooting. In the meantime, Abrams is having fun doing other things, like taking Colbert's entire studio audience to see The Play That Goes Wrong. Check out the full interview below.