Is Rian Johnson Suggesting His Star Wars Trilogy Isn’t Happening?

Personally, I thought Rian Johnson’s Star Wars film – Star Wars: The Last Jedi – was incredible. I agree with many people that it wasn’t perfect, but what I loved so much about it was that it was brave enough to change things, explore different themes and getting us to ask different questions about the future of the Star Wars franchise.

I honestly believe that 20 years from now, people will look back on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and realise that it helped bring the saga into a new era, beyond the Skywalkers, the Palpatines and the threats of old.

Rian Johnson is a truly masterful filmmaker and he didn’t deserve the flack he got for The Last Jedi. If anything, people should be praising the man for what he did with the franchise.

It was announced before The Last Jedi was released that Rian Johnson would be writing and directing a new Star Wars trilogy, and my reaction was, “Yes! Let him make whatever the hell he wants!”

But, alas, it seems as though my dreams of seeing a Rian Johnson led Star Wars trilogy have been quashed, and it’s more than likely Disney succumbing to the intense fan pressure.

It looks like Disney is bending to ‘fan’ pressure


Ray in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Credit: Disney)

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A loud minority of Star Wars fans – I use the term ‘fans’ very loosely here, they’re more like rabid ultras – were very upset about The Last Jedi.

The most common criticism I heard was that they didn’t like how it treated Luke Skywalker. Then there were a bunch of reports that Mark Hamill didn’t like it either, and they jumped on them.

However, if they had bothered to read and listen to what Hamill was saying, what really happened was that Hamill didn’t agree with Johnson’s take on the character, and the two then had a discussion about it, and Mark ended up understanding why Johnson felt Luke would be this way.

Fans didn’t like seeing Luke just throw the lightsaber over the cliff when Rey handed it to him. Personally, I thought it was an incredibly poignant moment, and one I truly didn’t expect.

It set the scene brilliantly for the whole movie and was a metaphor for what Johnson was trying to achieve with his Star Wars film. ‘Out with the old, in with the new’, and I really like that, and I feel it was necessary for the longevity of the franchise.

It looks like Rian Johnson is out

J.J. Abrams and his Knights of Ren

J.J. Abrams and his Knights of Ren (Credit: Disney)

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Anyway, it sounds like the vocal Star Wars fans have had their way because Johnson’s latest comments on his Star Wars trilogy didn’t sound very positive at all.

During an interview with BANG Showbiz, the writer-director was asked when fans can expect to see him working in the Star Wars franchise again.

“Well we’ll see. I’m still talking to Lucasfilm, they’re figuring out what they’re doing and we’ll see what happens,” Johnson explained. “But I’d be thrilled if it happens, and I’m working on my own stuff too.”

This really doesn’t sound very promising, and it’s made even more worrying by the fact that a few months back, he was very positive on the project, and he even denied rumors from earlier this year that he had left the project due to the divisive reaction to Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

If Johnson does leave the project, I think it would be a huge opportunity missed for Disney and Lucasfilm, but also those of us who love Star Wars.

We deserve to see something new and different on the big screen when it comes to that galaxy far, far away. Rogue One got close to that, but even the final edit of that film wasn’t the director’s true vision.

The Star Wars franchise could be losing a great filmmaker

Kylo and Rey in battle in The Rise of Skywalker

Kylo and Rey in battle in The Rise of Skywalker (Credit: Disney)

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There were extensive reshoots on Rogue One, and it sounds like the movie was more Tony Gilroy’s film than Gareth Edwards’. I would have loved to have seen what Edwards wanted to make, but we’ll never see that.

I really think that if Disney does decide to part ways with Johnson, then it would be a terrible loss and would cement my view that the Hollywood movie studio isn’t at all interested in the craft of filmmaking.

They just want the dollars, which is fine to a certain extent. They already own these massive properties. Why not do something dangerous with them. Something unexpected. Something genuinely new.

They tried that with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it received rave reviews from critics but was blasted by a select group of Star Wars ‘fanboys’ who spent too long theorising over what was going to happen in the movie and were going to be disappointed by any outcome.

Fans wanted Rey to be a Kenobi… or a Palpatine… Super original…

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Darth Sidious will be returning in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (Credit: Disney)

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Well, maybe they would have liked it if it turned out Rey was Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter or something like that… And that really saddens me. Not everything has to be connected.

Not every Star Wars character has to be linked to one from the original trilogy. And it doesn’t always have to be about the Skywalkers. Yet, it sounds as if J.J. Abrams has heard those angry fans and decided to make it all about the Skywalkers.

I mean, if the title is anything to go by, then we’re going to be stuck with this family for quite some time to come.

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  1. MissL

    It’s very dismissive to say only fanboys who wanted a certain outcome didn’t like the movie. I didn’t HATE it with a passion and don’t wish any ill towards the director or actors but I found it disappointing. I did buy the DVD because I had some fondness towards a few scenes but realized upon second viewing the movie is just BORING when you take into consideration Finn, Poe And Laura Derns storyline were nonsensical and in the end irrelevant. IF Finn had died like he tried to maybe I would have seen this “turning your expectations” director like all the critics say.

    I also was disappointed with how Luke was portrayed but mostly because I couldn’t see how he got from the positive Jedi he was in Return of the Jedi to the sullen person he became. I would have accepted this new Luke if I just understood WHY. Recognizing darkness in his nephew was enough for him to consider murdering him? Really? Even for a second? Maybe if Kylo had slaughtered some young Jedi And THEN Luke decided to kill him maybe but that’s not the timeline we got. I think the new trilogy has been poorly served by not having a agreed upon narrative from movie to movie and I’m sad about that.

    My point is. I’m fairly reasonable and not a rabid fanboy and I just didn’t like it that much and would be fine without Mr Johnson moving forward. Most of my friends fall in the same bucket that we aren’t out there spreading hate we are all just “meh” about it and that’s bad too.

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