Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy was announced back in November 2017, just before the release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017), which he wrote and directed. No one really knows what was planned for it except likely the higher-ups at Lucasfilm and Disney. There was no announcement about a plot or storyline.
The original announcement did say that it would be separate from the main Skywalker saga, which would introduce new characters, and it would be set in a different part of the galaxy. There were rumours that it would have dealt with the origin of the Jedi Order, which could possibly set it in a very different time period.
Fast forward up to today, and we are still in the same boat as before. Star Wars Celebration 2023 just happened a few days ago, and we have announced three film projects in development. And still no news about Rian Johnson’s trilogy. The only thing we got in between the official announcement and now is that Johnson is “really excited about it”, which doesn’t really tell us anything about it.
Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Trilogy Is Not In Active Development
In an interview with Variety about the future of Star Wars, Kathleen Kennedy spoke about Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy:
Rian and I talk all the time. He is unbelievably busy. So we’re not actively involved in anything at the moment because he’s doing another one of the ‘Glass Onion’ movies and then God knows what else. But he really wants to step back into the space. It’s a big commitment of time, so that’s really on him.
The project is not officially dead, just dormant. Since nothing has been happening for some years, many speculate that the project itself has been discontinued. Not to mention that many Star Wars projects have been on hold or possibly cancelled in the past few years. Some of them were even announced more recently than Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy.
Not long ago, reports emerged stating that the Star Wars project by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) writer, Michael Waldron, was cancelled without any official announcement. Similarly, the Rogue Squadron movie by Wonder Woman director, Patty Jenkins, also faced the same fate.
Although Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi received a favourable score of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, the audience score of 42% indicates that the general public was largely dissatisfied with Johnson’s take on Star Wars. Our own sources have said:
It’s been problematic for Disney and Lucasfilm as they love Johnson and his work, but they just cannot get passed the fans’ poor reaction to The Last Jedi.
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Somehow, it even felt like the following film, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, was trying to recover from the mistakes of Johnson’s film. But the damage was already done, and even Episode 9 was just trying to fulfil fan service, which got uncomfortably bad too.
Right now, the only thing that’s possibly keeping Lucasfilm from letting go of Rian Johnson is that his Star Wars film performed very well at the box office. While not at the same levels as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), it was still very much above the $1 billion dollar mark. And the fact that Knives Out (2019) also did very well at the box office just proves that Johnson is a good writer and director once he’s given his own material to work with.
There is still a chance that Rian Johnson’s film would still get that green light. But since he’s been very busy with his own personal projects like Knives Out 3 and Poker Face, it’s just hard to tell if he would still be interested in getting back into the Star Wars Universe when he gets his personal projects done. For now, the project is pretty much dead since no one is currently working on it. Let’s see if Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy gets resurrected years from now.
What do you think of Kathleen Kennedy confirming our report of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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