Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson is creating a brand new Star Wars trilogy for Lucasfilm, but the question is, will the new movies be part of the ongoing Skywalker saga? Simply put: no. George Lucas' original 1977 Star Wars film spawned one of the biggest multimedia franchises in history, centered almost entirely on the Skywalker family. After expanding the story with two sequels - The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi - the filmmaker returned with his prequel trilogy to show how it all came to pass.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith was meant to conclude the Skywalker saga, but Disney ended up bringing the franchise back to life when they acquired Lucasfilm and all of its assets in 2012 and subsequently announced plans to produce a sequel trilogy to Lucas' original films. What's more, the sequel trilogy - which began with J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens and concludes with Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX - is currently in the midst of establishing new characters while also bringing the Skywalker saga to an end - or does Lucasfilm have something else in mind?
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has routinely said that they plan on moving beyond the Skywalker family at some point in the future, but she never committed to a specific time frame. Considering that Lucas originally intended for nine movies to tell the Skywalkers' story, it seems that Abrams' 2019 film may finally wrap up their tale, which has both ruined and saved the Star Wars galaxy more than its fair share of times. And Star Wars fans who are wondering if Johnson's new trilogy will continue to tell stories revolving around Rey, Finn, or Ben (Kylo Ren) - it won't.
At the moment, all eyes are on The Last Jedi's release next month, and Johnson plans on taking a break from the core saga before returning to helm the first installment in his new trilogy, which is why he's not involved with Abrams' Episode IX. And when Johnson does return to the worktable, he will be diving deep into his imagination, creating a brand new corner of the Star Wars galaxy that has never before been explored, one that will stand apart from the episodic Skywalker saga.
However, that doesn't mean the studio won't continue telling more Skywalker stories elsewhere, it just means that Johnson's new trilogy is NOT Star Wars: Episode X, XI, and XII. But that also doesn't mean his trilogy will relate to the current Star Wars anthology movies either. Overall, it's difficult to classify what Johnson's new Star Wars trilogy is because this is uncharted territory for Lucasfilm - both literally and figuratively. Whatever happens, just don't expect Mark Hamill to suddenly appear on-screen, slowly turning around to face the camera without uttering a single word.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017