Contrary to popular belief, movie-maker Rian Johnson hasn't been involved in the writing process for Star Wars: Episode IX. The director of The Last Jedi has been actively engaging with Star Wars fans since making a surprise visit to this year's Star Wars Celebration, admitting his surprise at how intimately people become involved with the source materials of his upcoming movie. It's still months until the movie's release, but Johnson has already received significant praise from Lucasfilm veteran Mark Hamill, who claimed that The Last Jedi made Rian Johnson one of his favorite directors. The Looper director has already had to defend his vision for Episode 8 however, after some argued that it could simply be a repeat of The Empire Strikes Back.
The pressure of helming a new installment in one of the most iconic franchises of all time must be immense, and The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has already come forward to reflect on the pressures of becoming involved with Star Wars. While Rian Johnson may be enjoying the hype surrounding Episode 8, part of him may be relieved to confirm that his control ends after the next movie.
He delivered the succinct confirmation that he hadn't been involved with the writing process of Episode 9 on Twitter:
@mattpeto That's old info, I haven't been involved in writing IX.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) April 24, 2017
Many Twitter users were quick to assume that Episode 9 director Colin Trevorrow would be taking on the writing duties as well as his directorial responsibilities. Rian Johnson hasn't responded to these queries, and there's no guarantee that he actually knows the answer.
The confirmation that Colin Trevorrow would be directing Star Wars: Episode 9 was met with mixed reactions. His breakout success Jurassic World was a thrilling adventure, but many criticized aspects of the story and characterization. The general consensus was that his handling of nostalgia and bombastic set pieces made him the perfect choice to close out Lucasfilm's new trilogy, but that story-writing duties should be propped up by other veteran script writers. It's worth noting as well, that Rian Johnson's absence from the writing of Episode 9 doesn't necessarily have any bearing on Colin Trevorrow's responsibilities.
Trevorrow has already teased satisfying answers to some of the new trilogy's most compelling theories, yet he was certain to allude to the involvement of Lucasfilm at large in reference to the story's conclusion. He's already had to meet with executive producer Kathleen Kennedy regarding his options after the unfortunate loss of esteemed actor Carrie Fisher enforced changes on the story that was already in place. Kennedy's also come out to suggest that the Skywalker saga may be coming to a close after the events of Episode 9. This all suggests that the overarching story is essentially fixed, with Disney and Lucasfilm maintaining tight creative control. Whether Trevorrow does take on a significant portion of the writing process remains to be seen,but the director is already focused on how to nail the aesthetic feel of this final installment in Disney's first Star Wars trilogy.
Source: Rian Johnson
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018