Rian Johnson is still developing his Star Wars trilogy with Lucasfilm. A lot has happened to the franchise since the release of Johnson’s The Last Jedi at the end of 2017. Back then, Lucasfilm and Disney had their release schedule set to hyperdrive, with Solo: A Star Wars Story hitting theaters less than six months after Johnson’s movie. The response was one of Star Wars fatigue, mixed with backlash from The Last Jedi. Disney and Lucasfilm went back to the drawing board to reassess their plans and put some projects on the backburner.
However, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is still very happy with the work that Rian Johnson did on The Last Jedi, despite the heavy backlash it caused. According to a new report, “They are crafting a new film series set within the Star Wars universe, and those plans remain on the boards.” This should come as welcome news to fans who were impressed with the risks Johnson took when crafting his first entry into the franchise. It was unorthodox and took some huge chances.
The news comes after it was revealed that Rian Johnson and producer Ram Bergman have launched T-Street, “an entrepreneurial new company that will generate original content for film and TV shows.” This is a big undertaking for Johnson, who is preparing for his next release, Knives Out. During the announcement, Johnson touched on his time with the Star Wars franchise and how it pertains to T-Street. He had this to say.
“I always focused on directing my own stuff and never had the producing bug. I’m excited to open things up and get the chance to work with talented people and learn from them. In a way, this is very much in the mode of how we’ve always worked, though Star Wars was different for obvious reasons. But we’ve always thought like indie filmmakers, maintaining a degree of ownership and authorship over what we’ve done. This was a way to set up a space where we can make that happen for other filmmakers.”
After seeing Disney and Lucasfilm’s tactics over the past few years, it’s easy to see why many fans would think that Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy isn’t going to happen. The rewrites and reshoots for Rogue One are well-known with Tony Gilroy coming in to take over for Gareth Edwards. Then there’s the fact that Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired from Solo and replaced by Ron Howard. Colin Trevorrow was brought on board to direct the final installment in the Skywalker saga, only to be fired and replaced by J.J. Abrams.
After The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm will be taking a breather from the big screen and shift focus to the small screen with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and W.B. Weiss are next up with their own Star Wars trilogy, which is rumored to be based on the Knights of the Old Republic.
In May, Disney officially announced the release dates for these three movies, which Rian Johnson doesn’t currenty have a hand in. The first will arrive December, 2022, after a three year break from the franchise on the big screen. Then the second movie comes in December 20, 2024, followed by the final film in the trilogy on December 18, 2026. After this trilogy plays out, it’s likley Disney and Lucasfilm will want to have another break. So as it stands, with no official further release date announcements, if Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy happens, we might not see it for another decade, until 2030. That’s a long time to wait. But perhaps those who hate The Last Jedi will have come around and changed their minds by that point.
For now, Rian Johnson’s trilogy is still very much in development, and he is very excited to do “something that steps beyond the legacy characters.” Deadline was the first to reveal the news.