Nearly all Star Wars news as of late has revolved around TV and video game reports and rumors, a strange thing for a franchise founded on theatrical films. Following the release of 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars films went into a bit of a hiatus, with the next movie not scheduled to release until December 2022 as the coronavirus had not been taken into consideration.
There have been several projects reported from sources with varying degrees of credibility, but there's been no official word on what the picture looks like for the future of theatrical releases. Many speculated that this year's Star Wars Celebration would pull back the curtain on this front, but the recent cancellation of the event has called any possible announcements into question. We still have much to learn with only a few vague details known, but a recent rumor now adds another piece to the puzzle...
LRM Online is reporting that Rian Johnson's Star Wars trilogy is still very much on the way and is in early development. Additionally, the outlet claims the first in this trilogy will release following Taika Waititi's Star Wars film, which is said to be scheduled for 2024:
From my source at Lucasfilm, the Rian Johnson Star Wars films are still on track and will be released after the Taika Waititi Star Wars film.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Depending on who you ask, this is either very good or very bad news. The Last Jedi created a divide in the Star Wars fandom unlike anything seen before, even during the Prequel era, and debates have remained as heated as ever. Johnson's trilogy will undoubtedly re-spark the fire in the fan base, regardless of the distance between his two Star Wars projects.
While this rumor is currently unsubstantiated, it's far from unreasonable. Johnson's trilogy was announced during Igercon (the fan nicknamed quarterly Disney shareholder calls) in November 2017, prior to the release of The Last Jedi, showing Disney's faith in the film and the director. The fan reception to the film has since been well-documented, and many have called for the trilogy to be canceled.
Since the announcement of the trilogy, Johnson has maintained that he's still in discussions with Lucasfilm about the project, despite the lack of official word on its standing. In the past, the director has stated that the story will feature all-new characters in an unexplored part of Star Wars, allowing him to work with a completely blank canvas.
One of the major criticisms of The Last Jedi was that it didn't function well in a series of pre-existing films. Many critics of the film have agreed that Johnson may be better fit to tell his own story with his own characters, while others want him nowhere near the franchise again. There are many fans ecstatic about the possibility of the trilogy who will surely be pleased by this news, and the coming debates will be entertaining, if nothing else.