Lucasfilm thinks the Force is strong with Star Wars: Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. They’ve just announced that it will be Johnson to create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy. He’s set to write and direct the first of the new trilogy, with his friend and longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce.
The Star Wars universe is one rich with back story and massive unexplored story arcs. This new trilogy will be separate from the Skywalker saga, and will introduce new characters “never before explored”, according to a new post on Starwars.com. This is a little imprecise, though. What does it mean? Does it mean “new characters”, or “characters we’ve seen only in small flashes that will now take center stage”? We have no idea, and it could mean either.
The debate about whose hands Star Wars should be in rages on in fandom within various social media, but the fact that there’s a discussion at all points up one very important fact: if there’s going to be more Star Wars, and it can’t be George Lucas doing it (everyone please remember that George is now 73 years old, and might not even live to see the final film of a new trilogy, let alone having the stamina to do one himself), then Lucasfilm needs to have somebody they can trust in that chair. Right now, Rian Johnson is the best option they have.
This isn’t Hobson’s Choice, either. Johnson has proven himself worthy of the light saber he’s been handed.
“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”
“We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi,” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”
“Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi,” Johnson wrote on Twitter after the news broke.
During an earnings call Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that in addition to the new trilogy, the Star Wars universe would be expanding with a live-action TV show, which would be available on a Disney streaming service, which is set to launch in 2019.
Johnson and Bergman have their hearts in the right place, and they know what they’re doing. It’s on us now, as fans, to trust them to do that.
Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in U.S. theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.