Recently, a film screening at LACMA in Los Angeles was followed by a Q&A session with writer-director Rian Johnson – whose Star Wars: The Last Jedi crossed the $1 billion mark in just two weeks at the end of 2017. Even before it released, though, an announcement was made by Lucasfilm informing the world that Johnson had been hired to create a brand new Star Wars spinoff trilogy – entirely separate from the core saga. Now that The Last Jedi has proved itself to be a phenomenal success, attention is turning toward that new trilogy, and what we might expect from it.
Johnson briefly discussed the project and, without giving away too much detail, he expanded on his past comments to reiterate his excitement at exploring previously uncharted regions of the Star Wars universe.
“As we got to the end of Episode VIII [Star Wars: The Last Jedi], we had a great time working with Kathy [Kennedy] and with Disney, and we kind of said, ‘How can we keep this party going? How can we keep working together?’ And I kind of threw out there, like the most interesting thing to me would be to tell a new story told over three movies where we go someplace else. And we go, kind of the potential of like a wide-open blue sky of, let’s go to a different part of the galaxy. Maybe a different time. I don’t know.
Let’s meet some new characters and let’s figure out what Star Wars means separated from some of the iconography that we’ve associated it with. Let’s take it someplace else and see what that would be like. That just seemed like a really interesting question to ask.”
While the Star Wars universe – as recognized within its canon – has indeed encompassed a vast range of worlds and civilizations over the past 40 years, it certainly is the case that the story on the big screen has been somewhat limited to the Skywalker saga, and those connected to it. Even anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directly linked into that core narrative. Meanwhile, the rest of outer space is there to be explored, along with the depiction of the impact the conflict between the Rebellion and the Empire/First Order has on other worlds.
Having taken steps to effectively widen the scope of the Star Wars saga in The Last Jedi, many fans are now very excited to see what Rian Johnson creates in this move to a new area or time in the story. Even more exciting is the fact that Lucasfilm is clearly committed to this endeavour, in spite of a vocal backlash from a small minority that did not enjoy the characterization of Luke Skywalker in this latest installment, nor the fact that women were given a more prominent position in the story.
Indeed, it seems that Lucasfilm is eager to embrace this bold, new vision from Johnson – while ignoring the petitions, and the uploads of versions of Star Wars: The Last Jedi edited by ‘Men’s Rights Activists’ to remove almost all evidence of women from the plot. Quite right too, since Star Wars: The Last Jedi strolled to the top spot in global annual box office charts, even though it wasn’t released until halfway through December.
So, while detractors waste time and energy campaigning for The Last Jedi to be “de-canonized,” just because they didn’t like it, Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm are busy counting their Star Wars box office takings, and plotting a brand new course through a wholly different galaxy, far, far away – and we can’t wait to see where it lands.