UPDATE: April Fools! The Benioff & Weiss and Rian Johnson Star Wars trilogies are still happening, but they're not connected.
Rian Johnson will direct the first installment of the Star Wars Old Republic film trilogy spearheaded by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss. This December, the current era of the galaxy far, far away comes to an end with the premiere of Episode IX, but Lucasfilm has plenty of other content planned. In addition to live-action TV series like The Mandalorian and a Cassian Andor prequel, they have some more movies coming through the pipeline. These will be completely separate from the Skywalker saga and flesh out the canon in new, exciting ways.
Game of Thrones showrunners Benioff & Weiss are the creative force behind a trilogy, which is said to detail the days of the Old Republic. In typical Lucasfilm fashion, details about this project have been kept under wraps, but now fans know who will be calling the shots on the first chapter in this new series. And it's someone the Star Wars community is all too familiar with.
Today, Lucasfilm announced none other than Rian Johnson will direct the first film in the Old Republic trilogy. Originally, Johnson was thought to be developing his own Star Wars series, but it appears they were always one and the same. The studio expressed excitement regarding the development in a press release:
Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is returning to launch an all-new era for the franchise by helming the first installment in David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' Old Republic trilogy. The film will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Johnson's longtime producing partner Ram Bergman.
"Rian exceeded our expectations with The Last Jedi, and I'm thrilled he's returning as we begin the next Star Wars story," said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
More information about the Old Republic trilogy will come shortly.
Johnson's The Last Jedi, of course, ended up dividing the fan base upon its release in December 2017 (to put it mildly). Some viewers were convinced the director gave the Skywalker saga the breath of fresh air it needed, while others felt Johnson essentially ruined the entire franchise. Regardless of how one felt about The Last Jedi, there's no denying Johnson was willing to take some risks with the material and make some bold creative choices, and it'll be interesting to see what he comes up with for the Old Republic. Perhaps viewers won't be as volatile when it comes to this new trilogy, since Johnson and company are working with new characters audiences are unfamiliar with. Unlike Luke Skywalker, nobody has any preconceived notions of what the Old Republic ensemble should do.
Some may find the timing of this announcement curious, since Star Wars Celebration takes place later this month in Chicago. The convention would seem to be the ideal venue to share new movie details, but so much of Celebration is going to be dedicated to the likes of Episode IX, The Mandalorian, and others. It stands to reason to believe Lucasfilm feared that perhaps the Old Republic news would have gotten lost in the shuffle and decided to get a jump start by revealing it now. As Star Wars fans closely analyze the first bits of footage from this year's projects, they'll also be able to theorize what the Old Republic movies will bring.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019