Fans hoping that Rian Johnson’s standalone Star Wars trilogy will adapt the storyline from Knights of the Old Republic sadly must let that desire go. Johnson has confirmed he will not adapt the beloved game with his new series of movies. Though Johnson has heard fans’ desires and is a fan of the game himself, he would rather do something brand-new than retread a story that has already been told.
Released in 2003 as an Xbox exclusive, although it has since trickled out to other platforms, Knights of the Old Republic takes place thousands of years before the Skywalker saga. As the name suggests, it’s set in the time period of the Old Republic when war between Jedi and the Sith ran rampant. It’s a massive war with a lot of moving parts, characters and mythology. It’s into this conflict that Knights of the Old Republic tells its relatively simple of story of two feuding Sith Lords and, depending on player choices, redemption. While Rian Johnson has no interest in telling that story again, he hasn’t exactly sworn off the Old Republic as the setting for his trilogy.
In an interview with Mashable, Johnson was asked to talk about the hopes and rumors that he would adapt Knights of the Old Republic. While Johnson has remained mostly tight-lipped about his trilogy he was quick to squash the adaption theory, explaining:
Oh, [the fans] love Knights of the Old Republic. I played that game when it first came out and it was like, god, I loved it. Yeah, that’s a fantastic game. And I understand it, the instinct to automatically go to something that you know and love, that you’ve already seen. To me, what’s really fun is the notion of what new stuff are we gonna see, what new stories can we tell?
While any direct adaptation of Knights of the Old Republic seems out of the question, Johnson notably didn’t rule out revisiting the time period at all in his trilogy. By Johnson’s own admission his new trilogy isn’t related “at all” to the current story that is playing out in The Last Jedi and beyond. A relatively easy way to make that distinction clear would be set the trilogy thousands of years before Anakin Skywalker popped into existence. There is plenty of material to explore within the Old Republic that isn’t related to or involving the game (or its sequels) that would still be the “new stuff” that Johnson wants to explore.
However, it’s still rather expected that the Old Republic will be the setting for the trilogy, even after Johnson’s confirmation that he won’t adapt Knights of the Old Republic. If Johnson truly wants to do something unexpected and different (which seems to be his desire) he may pick a radically different time period, setting and outlook for the series – one that no fan is expecting or has guessed so far. This could disappoint fans but Johnson should be looking to fulfill his own creative vision, not bow to fans’ desire. Even if it’s not what is expected or even wanted, if done correctly Rian Johnson’s new Star Wars trilogy should be turned into something fans didn’t know they needed.
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