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Star Wars 8 & 9 Weren't Mapped Out When Rian Johnson Joined

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has revealed that there was no planned out story beyond The Force Awakens when he came on board to helm Episode VIII. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, one of the first things they announced was the development of a sequel trilogy set in the Skywalker family saga. It's become common for franchises these days to plan installments out in advance, and Star Wars is no different. In addition to the two movies that have already been released, they have three more announced and a fourth that will be revealed soon. The story group is hard at work ironing out the future of the galaxy far, far away.

While projects like Rogue One and Han Solo are conceived as standalone films with little (or no) series potential, the three episodes of the sequel trilogy are obviously interlinked. Force Awakens, Last Jedi, and Star Wars 9 will ultimately work together to tell one story. It would be plausible, then, to believe Lucasfilm had plotted out a course for the entire trilogy - especially since all forms of Star Wars media are connected and part of the same canon. However, when Johnson came on board to start developing Episode VIII, he learned that he would have substantial creative freedom and wouldn't be beholden to pre-established plot points the studio agreed on. The only thing Johnson would have to stick to, of course, is Episode VII.

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The director interacted with a fan on Twitter and was asked about how much of the narrative had been planned ahead of time. Johnson admits that there probably was a time where Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and company discussed amongst themselves where it could possibly go, but nothing was mapped out for him to follow:

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