Rian Johnson new Star Wars trilogy

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm


Hey gang!

Welcome to Sith and That, a new blog series where I’ll post some scattered thoughts from the galaxy far, far away. Typically these thoughts will have been heard on the TumblingSaber podcast, but for those who have not yet subscribed, I thought I’d put some content here to scratch the itch for those who prefer reading. If you like what you read here, then you may want to listen in to our podcasts and join the fun!

So with that said, he are some of my thoughts related to last week’s bombshell announcement that Rian Johnson is getting creative control over a NEW, totally unique trilogy.

  • This is just the latest in what is becoming a long series of “where were you when this happened in Star Wars” moments? So where were you when this news dropped?
  • The announcement was made by Disney bossman Bob Iger on a quarterly earnings call with investors. Interesting to note that Iger is leaving Disney in 2019, so no doubt he wants to exit with the company on a soaring stock high. Is his golden handshake tied to stock price? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
  • Part of Lucasfilm’s statement: “Lucasfilm is excited to announce that Johnson will create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy, the first of which he is also set to write and direct, with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce. As writer-director of The Last Jedi, Johnson conceived and realized a powerful film of which Lucasfilm and Disney are immensely proud. In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored. 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’ve had days to think about this now – but I think this is the boldest thing coming out of Star Wars since Star Wars itself in May of 1977.
  • Given the effusive praise from both sides, I guess we should have smelled something was afoot. We as fans clamoured for him to take over from Trevorrow with only seeing a trailer for The Last Jedi, so we are feeling the good vibes as well.
  • Maybe we’re just homers, but we normally have a good sense about Star Wars movies before they come out, but this one has a different vibe. The lead up feels different this time. Johnson himself feels different – and maybe that’s because of the way the film came together without a hitch, but it feels like he’s got his finger on the pulse of Star Wars.
  • Lucasfilm must really be pleased with The Last Jedi and Rian Johnson as a collaborator to entrust him with such a huge task.
  • Funny, I didn’t see ONE person saying “BAH, they should have taken a break! Enough movies already”. This was met with near-unanimous excitement.
  • For those upset with the announcement – please read the statement. He’s going to write and direct the first movie, not the entire trilogy! 
  • I said this in episode 99 in response to Ads’ question about where we thought Lucasfilm wanted to do with the Skywalkers, I said they would do a new trilogy starting with episode 10 but that it wasn’t going to be about the Skywalkers. I said they must be keen to get away from the Skywalkers and branch out to tell larger stories. “It’s so much bigger”.
  • Is this going to be related to the lore that will be explored in The Last Jedi? Hard to imagine that it won’t be.
  • If they go back in time, (and TLJ looks to be doing that to some extent) exploring Jedi who “had it right”, do they risk totally wrecking the reputation of the Jedi from episodes 1-6? 
  • I personally want them to explore new themes, break new ground and get far, far away from Lucas’ motif of rhyming and poetry. No more of that. It was fine for father and son, but time to smash that mold, right?
  • I don’t want Johnson to adapt Legends material that’s already out there. A lot of people want Old Republic or KOTOR. I don’t think Johnson would do that unless he was completely free from the expectations of bringing in Revan or the like. He’s not going to take that blank slate and load it up with  baggage, expectations, and a somewhat confined frame work. That doesn’t sound like a blank slate to me.
  • Johnson is a creative powerhouse and is going to want to do something totally original. Nobody of his kind of pedigree wants to be tied to something that already has built-in expectations.
  • I have to give Lucasfilm credit here. I didn’t think they’d detach themselves from the marketing leverage of the original Skywalker story.
  • Nobody is talking about this, but what about the music? Surely it won’t be Williams; he’ll be pushing 90. I think we’ll get a new guy soon enough and episode 9 will be Williams’ swan song?
  • Think about this as well: Collecting. This is like pressing the plunger and starting from scratch again. The thought of an entirely new line of Star Wars is daunting to say the least!
  • When do you think we’ll be getting this? There’s no standalone announced for 2020, leaving him plenty of time to get it done. What happens to Obi-Wan then?
  • Potential schedule for movies over the next decade?
    • 2018: Solo
    • 2019: Episode 9
    • 2020: Obi Wan standalone (let’s announce this already!)
    • 2021: Rian Johnson I
    • 2022: Standalone 4
    • 2023: Rian Johnson II
    • 2024: Standalone 5
    • 2025: Rian Johnson III
    • 2026: Standalone 6
    • 2027 50th Anniversary of A New Hope – a year possibly left blank out of respect / full on tributes?

Ok kids, that’s it for the first edition of Sith and That! These are scattered, bullet-form thoughts on big news of the day.

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