Right now, it looks like Star Wars: The Last Jedi is going to be a brilliant addition to the greatest movie franchise of all-time. Obviously, I’m withholding judgement until I’ve seen the final product, but if the film is even half as good as its trailers make it look, it’ll still be amazing. Naturally, much of this is down to writer/director Rian Johnson, who from all accounts has poured his heart and soul into the project. I’ve been a fan of Johnson since way back in the day, with Brick an excellent debut feature and Looper a pleasingly twisty time travel caper.
All of this made him, in my eyes, the best candidate to take over from Colin Trevorrow on Episode IX. After all, everyone at Disney/Lucasfilm have nothing but praise for him and he’s slotted into their production methods far more successfully than Gareth Edwards, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. However, very quickly after Trevorrow departed, it was confirmed that we were getting a second dose of J.J. Abrams.
Still, is there a chance that Johnson could be involved in the sequel in some capacity? Even if it’s just in a minor way? He was asked this very thing in a recent interview with THR and said the following:
“J.J. Abrams is doing a third movie. I’m not involved in it. They’ll be writing their own story but continuing on with what we did.”
This also sadly confirms that he’s not even penning a script treatment for the film, which was strongly rumoured during the production of The Last Jedi.
Look, I’m not too down about J.J. Abrams. The Force Awakens was pretty great (and I have a soft spot for Mission Impossible 3 and Star Trek), but a Rian Johnson-fronted Episode IX is definitely going in my Star Wars ‘what-if’ folder, nestled alongside the tragic missed opportunity of a David Lynch-directed Return of the Jedi.
Oh well, at least the cachet that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to give Johnson will let him realize whatever dream projects he’s got knocking around in that awesome brain of his.