A couple of years ago, just before the release of the Rian Johnson-directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, news broke that the Episode VIII helmer would be developing his own spin-off trilogy. According to Lucasfilm, Johnson’s new series would be set within the larger universe but “separate from the episodic Skywalker saga” and would “introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”
Since then, following the release of Johnson’s, erm, opinion-splitting The Last Jedi, things had gone quiet on the Johnson trilogy front. But the project is still alive and well according to the filmmaker, who’s currently embarking on promotional duties for his upcoming murder mystery movie, Knives Out.
Speaking to Observer, Johnson said the “fun and challenging” part of working on the new trilogy is “to dive in, figure out what’s exciting and then figure out what it’s going to be.” No details on an overarching plot just yet, then. But now unconstrained by the story beats of the core franchise films, it sounds like the writer-director is looking forward to ploughing his own furrow – something that, if The Last Jedi is anything to go by, he’s definitely not afraid to do, despite the backlash from certain sections of Star Wars fandom.
“We’re doing something that steps beyond the legacy characters,” the filmmaker continued. “To me, the blue sky element of it is what was most striking about it. I know the way that I’m coming at it and what’s fun about it for everyone in Lucasfilm is figuring out, ‘What’s the next step?’ It really makes you think and figure out what the essence of Star Wars is for me and what that will look like moving forward.”
Whatever your thoughts on Johnson’s vision for his new trilogy, it seems that Lucasfilm is sticking by its initial enthusiasm for the project. “We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy when the project was first announced. “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.”
With the main saga soon drawing to a close with the release of its final chapter, The Rise of Skywalker, in December, Disney and Lucasfilm will be looking to the future of Star Wars on the big screen. The franchise seems in rude health on the small screen, with Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian series hitting Disney+ later this year, an untitled series that will focus on Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and a show based on Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi reportedly on the cards, but with the move away from the “Star Wars stories” spin-offs, the franchise’s cinematic prospects are a little more up in the air.
We’ll bring you more on Johnson’s new Star Wars trilogy as we have it. The complete schedule of upcoming Star Wars movie and TV releases can be found here.
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