As the internet reels from the news that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will be helming an all new Star Wars trilogy, we’re taking a look at everything we know so far about the latest project set within the galaxy far, far away. Lucasfilm’s announcement comes as a major surprise, especially on the heels of reports that Johnson turned down the opportunity to direct Episode 9 after Colin Trevorrow was let go. He was widely viewed as the frontrunner for the gig, seeing as he was the man in charge of Episode 8. And while it wasn’t a major shock that JJ Abrams ended up stepping up to the plate, many wondered if there was more to it than the fact that Johnson simply wouldn’t have time to get ready for the early 2018 start date following the upcoming press tour The Last Jedi.
Any negative connections that fans may have taken away from Johnson not being hired to direct Episode 9 — Lucasfilm not being impressed with his work on The Last Jedi; Johnson not enjoying his time working in the Star Wars universe; etc — can now be safely dispelled with today’s news, however. There isn’t a shot in hell that Lucasfilm would commit to hiring him to helm a whole new trilogy if they weren’t impressed with his work, which is just one more reason to be excited about this latest development (as if you needed another).
Today’s announcement wasn’t incredibly detailed, and you can bet that Lucasfilm worded their press release very carefully, as to not give away the farm right out of the gate. That being said, there’s more than a few key excerpts here that are worth a closer look. Most notably, the special attention that was paid to the most famous family in the Star Wars universe.
Sorry, Skywalker clan: this is not the trilogy you’re looking for
Perhaps the biggest (and most obvious) takeaway from today’s news is that Rian Johnson’s new trilogy “is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga.” While this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility that some member of the Skywalker clan could find themselves involved in the proceedings, it’s a virtual certainty that they won’t appear. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has stated on numerous occasions that the series will eventually move on from Star Wars‘ first family, and this new trilogy is an excellent time to do just that.
If the higher ups decide that they wish to continue the Skywalker saga, they could always roll out more episodes of the main series. But Lucasfilm would be wise to heed the wishes of the fanbase, many of whom have been calling for the franchise to take advantage of its expansive universe by moving away from Luke, Leia, and co. and focusing on new characters and settings. For now, it feels like a safe bet that Johnson’s films will be Skywalker-free.
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