Rian Johnson On His New 'Star Wars' Trilogy And If He'll Direct Each Film

For as long as most of us can remember, Star Wars has been the vision of one man: George Lucas. That ended five years ago when Disney purchased Lucasfilm, and since then we've seen a number of filmmakers jump into that sandbox, some faring better than others. The latest trilogy began with J.J. Abrams on The Force Awakens, followed by a spinoff (mostly) led by Gareth Edwards, and an upcoming Han Solo spinoff with Ron Howard. But it's The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson who has earned such a level of trust that his vision will launch a brand new trilogy unlike any we have seen.

It's still super early on this, of course; Johnson still has to get through the press tour for The Last Jedi, then Abrams will return to wrap up the trilogy with Episode IX. But Collider caught up with him to talk about his plans for this new trilogy of movies, which reportedly will steer clear of the Skywalker clan, and Johnson reveals his pitch to Lucasfilm was incredibly simple and free of hard details...

“We were just generally talking about what could we do and I was like, ‘What would be most interesting to me is…’ and then I just said—it wasn’t even a specific pitch, the pitch was: ‘A new trilogy. Three movies, one story. New characters, new places. Let’s start fresh.’ That was the most exciting thing I could possibly think of and Kathy really responded to that and we’re gonna give it a shot.”

He says that, despite rumors saying otherwise, he was never in line to direct Episode IX. That was always going to go to someone else after the previously-attached Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) was booted from the project over creative differences. 

With so much freedom being afforded to him, does that mean Johnson plans to direct all three movies? Well, he's not so sure just yet...

“Honestly I don’t know yet [if I’ll direct all three]. I know I’m gonna come up with the whole thing, the idea is to come up with one big story, but I know I’m gonna write and direct at least the first one. Then I’m gonna have to—even the first one at this point we’re still figuring it out, so I don’t know yet. But I know I want to come up with the whole thing and then we’ll see.”

Something of this size, all placed in the hands of one person, could take a while to pull off. Next year's Solo: A Star Wars Story and 2019's Episode IX are the only concrete projects on the way. Yeah, there's talk of an Obi-Wan spinoff but that doesn't seem to have progressed very far. If Disney really hopes to have a Star Wars movie every single year, we could see Johnson's movie perhaps be ready by 2021, assuming a standalone film is released in 2020. Whatever happens, the future for the Star Wars universe is unclear and that's kind of exciting.