For all intents and purposes J.J. Abrams is finally and truly done with Lucasfilm at this point since as Mike Floorwalker from Looper states he’s already got a full plate, and another one after that to deal with since his company Bad Robot has numerous projects that they’re needing to get to. There’s nothing to say that this is the end entirely for Abrams when it comes to Star Wars, but likely as not if they did call him within another couple to few years they’d have to wait in line unless they presented an offer he just couldn’t refuse. Some fans are likely going to say good riddance and be done with it while others might realize that Rian Johnson will be at the helm again eventually and start calling for Abrams to make his way back since at the very least The Force Awakens and Rise of Skywalker were far more balanced than The Last Jedi in many ways. One of the only reasons why Johnson might get more attention at this point is that he set up the character of Rose Tico to receive more notice, while Abrams kept to the main story instead of somehow glorifying a supporting character. Be that as it may though there’s simply too much in front of Abrams to keep him from moving on to other projects that demand his attention and will likely give him more new and exciting things to do without the continual scrutiny of Disney.
It’s still debated just how effective his Star Wars movies have been since some people don’t believe that the most recent trilogy has lined up with the original movies in an effective way, but in reality his movies have at least stuck to the main story and attempted to include as man people as possible even if they didn’t get as much screen time. One crucial element of the movie that many people tend to forget is that this saga was about introducing another set of main characters that people could meet, enjoy, and root for throughout three movies while the older character essentially passed the torch before exiting stage right. Abrams did this just fine while Johnson somehow sent mixed signals with his use of two of the original characters, giving us a movie that made a lot of people arch their eyebrows as we wondered what in the heck he was doing, or thinking for that matter. Abrams did manage to present the older characters in a way that people were expecting but also in a new light that thankfully didn’t treat them like rag dolls being flung about for his amusement. And as far as Rose Tico goes, he gave her enough screen time for people to realize that she was there and that she still had an important presence with the Resistance, but unless she was going to fight the Last Order on her own or help with Palpatine in some way she wasn’t quite as important as people want to make her out to be. Mel Evans of Metro has something else to offer to this argument.
There is that minute chance that Abrams might come back to work with Lucasfilm one day, but at this moment he’s fairly certain that he’s done and will be moving onward towards other things and new horizons that will see him putting his name to projects that will be shown across different platforms. It’s easy to think that we’ll be hearing about his exploits a lot more in the years to come since there are plenty of movies and shows that he’s already looking to be a part of and the projects aren’t bound to dry up anytime soon. At this point it’s a matter of whether he can possibly get to them all in a single lifetime since there are quite a few things that need doing and there’s more than enough to keep him busy for years to come. Some of those projects, such as the next Mission:Impossible movies might make a lot of us shake our heads and wonder why they’re still going, but thus far the revenue from said movies has been great enough that stopping them isn’t in the cards when there’s money to be made and generations that haven’t experienced the thrill of Ethan Hunt just yet. At one point Tom Cruise is going to have to give way to another big name actor, or perhaps someone on their way up, but at this moment it does feel as though we’ll continue to see MI movies and other such titles for a while to come so long as Abrams is willing and is able to make them work.
It’s easy to feel a certain way about leaving Star Wars in the hands of Rian Johnson since he’s done enough to pooch just one movie and thinking about a trilogy is kind of unnerving. But Abrams won’t be back to fix it this time unless that small, infinitesimal chance comes through and he says yes. Robin Parrish of ScreenRant has more to say on this matter.