Rian Johnson to Develop New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy; Will Write and Direct First Installment

On a conference call with investors, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that they’ve hired Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson to develop a new Star Wars trilogy. Ben Fritz adds that the new trilogy presumably wouldn’t arrive until after 2020:

For all the behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the development of various Star Wars movies, the one that has been drama-free is The Last Jedi. There have been no reports of reshoots, clashes, or anything like that. If anything, the word on Johnson’s production has been highly positive with everyone reporting smooth sailing. That’s clearly the case as Lucasfilm wants to nail down a director with whom they’ve had a positive relationship.

Image via Lucasfilm

In a statement released on StarWars.com, producer Kathleen Kennedy said:

“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”

Johnson will develop the new trilogy with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman and plans to write and direct the first installment of the trilogy. As for what this trilogy will entail, details are scarce, but StarWars.com reports, “In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”

That’s incredibly exciting and it’s what I want from new Star Wars movies—for everything not to be so Skywalker-centric. In time, we may want to return to the characters from the sequel trilogy, but for now, I’m glad Lucasfilm is giving Johnson the freedom to go somewhere else and introduce new characters.

Johnson’s hiring for future trilogy is also a ridiculously encouraging sign for The Last Jedi. It means that Lucasfilm and Disney weren’t only happy with the production; they were happy with the final product and they’re so confident that audiences will go for The Last Jedi that they want to be in business with Johnson long-term.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15th.

Image via Lucasfilm

Image via Lucasfilm

Image via Lucasfilm

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