Rian Johnson maybe not be helming Star Wars: Episode 9 that honour is going to JJ Abrams), but he’s not leaving the universe forever.
It sounds as though Disney liked the director’s work on upcoming instalment The Last Jedi so much that it’s giving Johnson his own Star Wars trilogy to play around with. His longtime producer Ram Bergman will also work on the films.
The trilogy, which is so far untitled, will feature a story completely separate from the Skywalker saga, with Disney confirming that it will focus on “new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”
In a statement, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said: “We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi. 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.”
In a joint statement, Johnson and Bergman said: “We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi. Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”
Star Wars hasn’t had a good track record with hiring directors for its standalone stories lately, what with Josh Trank being fired from one that is yet to make it past the planning stages, Gareth Edwards needing help to rework Rogue One in the last few months of production, and Christopher Miller and Phil Lord being replaced by Ron Howard midway-through Solo: A Star Wars Story.
However, Disney seems to be expecting big things from Johnson, what with it giving him a full trilogy right off the bat before The Last Jedi has even been released. But, to be honest, we don’t blame them.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in UK cinemas on 14 December. Get all the latest sci-fi news with every issue of SciFiNow.