Will Rian Johnson Direct More Star Wars Films Than George Lucas?
When Star Wars Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow was taken off the project, many wondered if Episode VIII helmer Rian Johnson would step in. Instead it was J.J Abrams (an equally solid choice) who stepped in to complete Disney’s first Star Wars trilogy.
Why Johnson didn’t get the job? Did he turn it down? Did they even offer him the job? J.J Abrams is more than capable of capping off the trilogy he started with Episode VII: The Force Awakens. But the Star Wars brain trust has flooded the press with nothing but praise for Johnson’s writing and directorial skills. A stark contrast to Phil Lord and Chris Miller who were removed from SOLO in favor of Ron Howard. And Trevorrow who was removed in favor of the aforementioned Abrams. Clearly, Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) has delivered an amazing film in The Last Jedi.
It turns out, the answer to all of those questions was much more ambitious and exciting than simply taking over the untitled Episode IX.
Last week, Disney/Lucasfilm announced Johnson will direct an entirely new trilogy set inside the ever expanding Star Wars Universe. Details on the exact setting for the series are scarce but we do know these films will step away from the core Skywalker saga.
If set in the past, many people are hoping to see films from the animated Rebels era set between Episode III and IV. Video game hopefuls have their fingers crossed that heroes and villains from The Old Republic titles will make their big screen debut. It’s also possible that the series will draw on characters from the expanded universe that was deemed ‘non-canon’ when Disney took over the reins of Star Wars.
Personally, I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s none of the above. If the Lucasfilm brass is willing to give Johnson the budget and time to craft an entirely new trilogy of films, my money is on an original idea. Could the series be set in ancient times when the Jedi order first began? The idea of the first Jedi battling the first Sith lords would be amazing.
Regardless of when the films are set, I hope they take us to new worlds and truly expand the Star Wars universe. Films like Rogue One, Solo or the rumored Kenobi and Boba Fett films are fun but they exist to fill in gaps in stories we already know.
I’m fully on board for something new.
So… Rian Johnson is about to deliver the follow up to The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi has all the makings of a classic poised to bring us twists and answers we’ve waited years for. When the dust settles, Johnson will turn his attention to three new films.
That’s 4. A number that just-so-happens to tie another big Star Wars name…
George Lucas has only directed 4 Star Wars films. Episode IV and the prequel trilogy. It was Irvin Kershner who directed Empire Strikes Back with Richard Marquand stepping in to direct Return of the Jedi.
It’s still WAY too soon given the trilogy was just announced but, years from now, Johnson could be positioned to surpass Lucas as a Star Wars director. It will take a few more films to catch George in the writing department with the father of a Galaxy Far Far Away credited on six films but it’s not out of reach.
Still, who could have predicted that there may come a time when Johnson’s voice becomes ‘larger’ than the man who started it all.
It brings about another interesting thought. Star Wars was never meant to be reserved for George Lucas only. He created an infinite playground. He set the stage for anyone to contribute and it’s not just limited to ‘pros’. Think of all the incredible short films, fan films, novels, comic books and independent projects that exist. Their are brilliant create minds all over the world thinking about THEIR Star Wars right now.
Star Wars is a medium all in itself. An explosion of creative opportunities with limitless possibilities. George Lucas brought Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Leia, Han Solo and more into our lives. We’re just starting to get to know characters like Rey, Finn and Poe. What will the Star Wars universe look like when Johnson completes his trilogy? Is there room in the Star Wars universe for an entirely new saga on the scale of the Skywalker family? Of course there is! Now it’s just a matter of waiting for more details to surface. Thankfully, until then, we have The Last Jedi to look forward to. Film #1 on Jonhson’s resume. A resume that may one day include the title of Undisputed Star Wars Universal Champion… of the world… This world… Not another world in space– you get it…