Rian Johnson has tweeted his first response to the earth-shattering news that he will be developing a new Star Wars trilogy for Disney and Lucasfilm. Johnson's contribution to the currently-unfolding trilogy, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is due to be released in a few weeks and is expected to gross somewhere around $200 million on its opening weekend.
Johnson was chosen to take over the Star Wars director's chair after J.J. Abrams kicked off the new trilogy with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which went on to gross $2 billion worldwide, proving beyond a doubt that Star Wars is still the biggest brand name in the movie business. Though Johnson's movie hasn't even hit theaters yet, Disney has given him the ultimate vote of confidence by trusting the filmmaker to carry Star Wars beyond Episode 9, which will see J.J. Abrams back at the helm after original director Colin Trevorrow was relieved of his duties.
Rian Johnson didn't waste very much time getting on social media and giving his reaction to the news release about the new trilogy, tweeting humorously to fans about the response he is hoping for when The Last Jedi is let loose to either get the thumbs-up or thumbs-down:
Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) November 9, 2017
Being given the reins of Star Wars comes with a certain amount of pressure, and not everyone who's taken on that responsibility has been able to hold up their end. J.J. Abrams certainly proved his ability to satisfy both fans and studio suits with The Force Awakens. But then there was Gareth Edwards, who reportedly had to work under the supervision of Tony Gilroy for the reshoots of Rogue One: A Star Wars. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, originally chosen to direct the young Han Solo movie that has since officially been titled Solo: A Star Wars Story, also found themselves being unceremoniously dumped well into production, with Ron Howard being brought aboard to reshoot almost the entire film. And then there was Colin Trevorrow who didn't even get a chance to start on Star Wars 9 before being fired and replaced by Abrams.
Disney and Lucasfilm have demonstrated that they will do anything to protect the Star Wars brand, including hire and fire directors at will. For Johnson to have received the keys to the franchise before The Last Jedi is released shows that he has earned the trust of Kathleen Kennedy and the studio chiefs. Now begins the hard work of conceiving a whole new trilogy that will reportedly take place in a previously unseen part of the Star Wars galaxy, involving characters we've never met before.
In addition to the new trilogy, Disney is also planning a live-action Star Wars series for their streaming service, as well as a bevy of standalone films built around various characters including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jabba the Hutt. As long as Star Wars continues to be a money-making beast for Disney and Lucasfilm, you can bet they will keep on churning out the content.
Source: Rian Johnson
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018