Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Trilogy Receives Promising Development Update

By Richard Nebens Updated:
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Almost no name in Star Wars history has been the subject of a wider range of reviews than Rian Johnson, who famously served as the director of 2017’s Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. With the inconsistency between his work and that of J.J. Abrams, who did the movies before and after his, the sequel trilogy was left largely discombobulated and jumbled as the two directors’ visions were mixed with one another.

Even with so much controversy surrounding The Last Jedi, however, Johnson remains a consistent topic amongst the Star Wars fandom, especially with no big-screen movies on the way for the foreseeable future. Lucasfilm in particular saw promise in his work on the 2017 movie, which still grossed over $1.3 billion at the box office, and there are many who want to see him come back for another intergalactic story.

At one point in time, there were serious talks about Johnson helming his own Star Wars trilogy, although those plans have at least been pushed back for the foreseeable future. But in a recent chat with Johnson, he revealed he is still dying to return to the galaxy far, far away in the not-too-distant future.

Rian Johnson Still Wants Star Wars Comeback

Star Wars, Rian Johnson
Star Wars

In an interview with Empire, Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson confirmed that he still wants to come back for more projects with Lucasfilm.

Confirming that he's remained close with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, Johnson admitted that it all comes down to scheduling the work and making it happen. The director even made it clear that it would "break [his] heart" if he couldn't come back to this universe at some point:

“I’ve stayed close to Kathleen and we get together often and talk about it. It’s just at this point a matter of schedule and when it can happen. It would break my heart if I were finished, if I couldn’t get back in that sandbox at some point.” 

Kennedy had similar comments to offer during Star Wars Celebration in May 2022, noting how everybody is so "genuinely busy and working on things," particularly with Johnson's success on 2019's Knives Out. She confirmed that plans for his return would be anywhere from three to five years from now, but that the team loves him and wants him to return:

“Now, everybody’s so busy – genuinely busy and working on things. Rian had such a gigantic success with Knives Out that he’s very committed to try and get that done. So it’ll be a while. And we have to work three, five years in advance on what we’re doing. So that’s where that sits. But we love him.”

Johnson was confirmed in 2017 to be developing his own Star Wars trilogy which is still in the works but has been held up due to the director's focus on his two Knives Out sequels at Netflix - the first of which, Glass Onion, will be released this December.

Will Rian Johnson's Sequel Trilogy Happen?

Even with The Last Jedi being officially classified by a United States federal court as a mediocre movie, some of Johnson's decisions with the film clearly stuck with Lucasfilm, as the two parties have developed a strong relationship with one another. The director still looks back fondly at his time making the movie, and these quotes only confirm how invested he is in the universe as a whole.

Kennedy also confirmed in May 2022 that Johnson's trilogy had moved to the back-burner, although she made it clear that Lucasfilm still has every intention of making it happen. The director has found incredible success with his work on Knives Out, which is already set for a sequel, and Kennedy noted how far in advance the Star Wars story is planned out as well.

Recently, Johnson even confirmed that he will soon revisit his work on The Last Jedi, which might even lead to more discussion about the trilogy he had planned out before it got delayed. But regardless of when it happens, it's clear that Lucasfilm has every intention to bring Johnson back for more intergalactic action.

Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.