Rian Johnson Explains the Long Delay for His Next Star Wars Trilogy

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker

There's one thing many Star Wars fans would likely agree with: Rise of Skywalker wasn't quite the big finale that it should have been. However, it's the eighth episode of the saga, directed by Rian Johnson, that was the most divisive amongst fans.

The Last Jedi is regarded by some as one of the best entries of the whole franchise. Yet, others feel it's the exact opposite—aka, one of the worst. Many didn't like how it felt it was tearing down everything set up from The Force Awakens. Uncermonesly killing off Snoke didn't help either.

Despite the polarizing reaction, Lucasfilm ended up announcing that Johnson would be creating his own trilogy of Star Wars films. However, there hasn't been much news on those projects since they were announced. In fact, at one point and time, many were convinced that it had been outright canceled.

Well, now the director himself has spoken out about his long-delayed batch of films and confirmed once again that they are canceled.

Johnson Addresses His Upcoming Trilogy

Rian Johnson Star Wars
Star Wars

In an interview with Variety, Rian Johnson talked about his upcoming Star Wars trilogy, projects that the general populace hasn't heard all that much about since it was first announced.

When asked what was the status of his upcoming Star Wars trilogy, the director noted that "[they're] still talking about it," and that he "[doesn't] know" when it'll properly get off the ground:

“Look, I still have talked to Kathy [Kennedy] about it and we’re still talking about it… I had such an amazing experience making ‘The Last Jedi,’ front to back. It was just the best professional experience of my life. And I love Star Wars so, so, so much. And also, just as a fan, it’s so much fun right now like with the stuff they’re making now. And I just feel like we’re in a time where there’s a lot of cool Star Wars shit going on. But honestly, and Kathy said this recently in an interview, and she put this really well, it’s entirely a matter of scheduling. For me right now, putting this [‘Glass Onion’] out and then making the next one of these… so, the answer is I don’t know.”

But will it ever actually happen? To that question, Johnson exclaimed, "God, I hope so," while also adding how he hasn't written any of those movies just yet. Currently, the director is busy working on Glass Onion and that murder-mystery series as a whole.

When asked if he had known any of Colin Trevorrow's original Episode 9 plans and if Johnson himself had his own ideas vetoed, the director confirmed he had not. He even pointed out that "there [wasn't] a roadmap:"

“No, no, and there weren’t… And to be fair, it’s not like there was a roadmap drawn out, the same way there wasn’t for The Force Awakens. The deal with these was very much, you know and I’m not saying that hasn’t already been put out there already, was very much each filmmaker coming in and kind of taking the baton from the last one. So, no, the plan for me was to make second one and then step back [for] whoever was gonna end up making the third one.”

When asked if the strategy at the time was "[dropping] the mic and just [leaving]" for the next filmmaker, the director noted it was more a "hand the mic off to the next person" sort of situation.

Though, Johnson did admit that he was "very conscious through the whole [process] of setting up story elements" for future films:

“No, hand off the mic off. Hand the mic off to the next person and… that’s the balance I was trying to ride with Last Jedi. I wanted it to have… I didn’t want it to just end with ‘dot, dot, dot, question mark.’ I wanted it to have a satisfying emotional ending. But I was also very conscious through the whole thing of setting up story elements to hopefully… pass on to the third movie so that’s the job. That’s the job, y’know?”

What Should Fans Expect In Johnson's Trilogy?

Assuming the trilogy does, in fact, happen, what should fans expect?

One idea is that it'll take place sometime after Rise of Skywalker. Many people seem to want to move away from the Skywalker Saga, so hopefully, if his movies do take place then, then they'll still be notably removed from those events and characters.

Another possibility is that the upcoming trilogy will take place in the High Republic Era, which has been the subject of a number of Star Wars books recently. It's also the same timeframe that is rumored to be a part of the upcoming Acolyte Disney+ series

There's also the Old Republic, which, as of now, is a non-canon timeframe in the new Star Wars continuity. Maybe Johnson can help bring it to life on the big screen and carry over some older beloved canon from some of the Legends books.

At the end of the day, it could also be something completely different on all levels. New planets, characters, sects of people—that breath of fresh air could be very beneficial to the franchise as a whole.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.