Rian Johnson to Head Up New Star Wars Trilogy
On November 9th Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Rian Johnson (director of The Last Jedi, set to release this December) will be heading up a new Star Wars trilogy. Not much is known about the new trilogy other than that it is going to be separate from the Skywalker saga, in an area of the Star Wars universe that has yet to be explored.
There’s a lot to be interested in with this news. First (of course), there’s more Star Wars slated for the near future! But second, and perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this news, is that it will be separate from the part of the Star Wars universe we’ve all come to know. The Skywalkers are an integral part of the Star Wars franchise; almost all of the stories that we’ve seen in the main/canon films directly relate to that lineage. I am excluding the SWEU from novels and comics since most of those, prior to the Disney acquisition of the franchise, have been made non-canon. It will be very interesting to see what the other parts of this canon film universe can offer. Are there still Jedi, or any other followers of The Force where we’ll be? What will the timeline be like in relation to the events of the main episodes? I’m very excited to hear more about what’s planned for this separate trilogy.
Another point of interest with this new information is the decision to have Rian Johnson head up the entire project. Disney and Lucasfilm are very proud of The Last Jedi, but it’s still up in the air how it’ll be received generally. I found it peculiar that they announced this new trilogy with Johnson at the helm before the main release of The Last Jedi. We don’t know the precise creative direction for Episode VIII, so how do we truly get behind Rian heading up a new trilogy if we haven’t seen his Star Wars work yet? Also, in September it was announced that J. J. Abrams was returning as the director of Episode IX, replacing Colin Trevorrow, which has many people divided. Is this announcement of Rian Johnson open for change as well?
But perhaps another cause for question is having one creative director/head for the trilogy. George Lucas is the father of Star Wars and he headed a lot of the artistic creation behind both the original and sequel trilogies, but with Empire and Jedi, he passed the directing mantle to different directors: Irvin Kershner (Empire) and Richard Marquand (Jedi). Will Disney do something similar with this new trilogy? Or will they go the route that Lucas went with the prequel trilogy, with him writing and directing all three? I’m never convinced that breaking news such as this is set in stone when it comes to film projects that are in the indefinite future.
I suppose we’ll see why Disney and Lucasfilm decided to bring Rian into this mystery new trilogy next month when The Last Jedi releases on December 15.