It’s by no means perfect, but Rian Johnson deserves praise for creating a competent and largely satisfying story, even if it comes at the expense of wish fulfillment. And that’s all we’ll say on the matter, lest we stray into spoiler territory. Because as The Last Jedi post-mortem continues to tighten its grip on the Internet, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Johnson to discuss what’s next – specifically, his all-new Star Wars trilogy that will, in time, help future-proof Lucasfilm’s crown jewel long after the release of Episode IX.
Details are, unsurprisingly, few and far between, but the director did stress that he’s still undecided about many of the trilogy’s fundamentals – timeline included.
I’m at the very beginning of trying to come up with it, and honestly, timeline-wise, I’m not sure yet. In a way it’s interesting, but in a way it’s the least interesting part of it to me. I’m more thinking of what’s the story going to be, who is it going to follow? What elements is it going to have? What kind of drama is in it? My head right now is more in that place. I haven’t really, really gotten into it. Right now I’m mostly excited by the potential and just starting to form little clusters of ideas of what it might become.
In what is perhaps the most remarkable vote of confidence in recent memory, Lucasfilm also gave the go-ahead for Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy without being pitched a story, meaning the filmmaker is now staring down the face of a pure, blank canvas.
And though he’s committed to writing all three movies, Rian Johnson will likely pass on the baton (or should that be lightsaber?) once he’s helmed the opening chapter.
We’re going to figure out the timing of the next one. We haven’t figured it out yet. I’ll say, I don’t feel like, ‘Oh my God, I’m exhausted, I need to sit on a beach for a month.’ I feel creatively energized right now. I feel like I want to jump right into work. This whole process has left me feeling ready to jump in and do it again right away. I don’t know why. I don’t know if that’s a good sign.
Even after overseeing The Last Jedi – a hulking, multi-faceted film in its own right – Rian Johnson clearly has no intention of resting on his laurels. He’ll be back behind the lens relatively soon, then, as both he and Lucasfilm begin to draw up the future of Star Wars.