As soon as The Force Awakens released, it was clear that Disney had big plans for the Star Wars franchise. The seventh entry into the saga was very much the start of a new chapter and contained many hints towards future plotlines to be further explored in the sequels. It’s surprising to learn, then, that there was no hard and fast masterplan for Star Wars: Episode VIII and IX in place at that stage.
The revelation comes courtesy of The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. After claiming that he was given a blank slate on the movie’s storyline last week, Johnson was asked on Twitter to clarify exactly how much freedom he had. In reply, he explained the following:
@Bogwing I’m sure they talked about where it might go early on, but when they came to me there was no mapped story presented beyond TFA.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 29, 2017
On the one hand, this makes a lot of sense from a filmmaking perspective, as of course the studio will leave the actual plotting of the movies to the screenwriters and the directors to sort out. That’s their job. However, it is surprising considering the many mysteries that TFA set up. How many, if any, of those have been worked out? Do they know who Snoke really is? Who Rey’s parents are? Well, the latter question definitely has an answer, as Daisy Ridley has previously claimed that she’s been informed about Rey’s origins.
This isn’t the first time that there’s been a debate over the existence of a Star Wars masterplan. Regarding the original trilogy, there’s conflicting evidence on whether George Lucas knew that Darth Vader was Luke’s father when he was writing A New Hope. Still, whether it was pre-planned or not, it’s fair to say it didn’t affect the success of those films. Likewise, the creative freedom Johnson was granted seems to have been the right move, as his script has been praised by all quarters.
We’ll get to judge for ourselves what the Looper director has brought to the Star Wars universe very soon, as The Last Jedi arrives in theatres on December 15th.