Rian Johnson is a contentious name in the Star Wars fandom. For many, his choices in The Last Jedi were controversial, while for others they were masterful. No matter where you land, it’s hard to argue that the man isn’t a versatile filmmaker, turning out poignant noirs like Brick, charming capers like The Brothers Bloom, and intelligent sci-fi like Looper. He recently started promotion for his latest film, the Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery Knives Out, but he isn’t done talking about Star Wars. If you’ll recall, news broken even before The Last Jedi came out that Johnson would work on his own separate trilogy. In an exclusive interview with Observer, he dropped some of the first details about the project–namely, that it won’t incorporate any familiar legacy characters.
Here’s Johnson’s full quote when asked about the upcoming trilogy, its main priority, and how he was inspired by George Lucas:
“We’re doing something that steps beyond the legacy characters. What does that look like? To me, the blue sky element of it is what was most striking about it. I know the way that I’m coming at it and what’s fun about it for everyone in George Lucas’ films is figuring out, ‘what’s the next step?’ It really makes you think and figure out what the essence of Star Wars is for me and what that will look like moving forward.”
It’s interesting to note that he says “we” throughout the quote. He could be referring to Lucasfilm as a whole, but he could also be referring to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the Game of Thrones creators who are also said to be working on a new Star Wars trilogy. Are these projects one and the same? That would track with what Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said at Star Wars Celebration back in April. “As [Benioff and Weiss] finish Game of Thrones, they’re going to segue into Star Wars,” she told Entertainment Weekly at the fan event. “They’re working very closely with Rian.”
It’s possible these two announced trilogies are actually one, or that the creators are merely mapping out their separate work together. Whatever the case, we’re excited to see what the Star Wars universe looks like when it moves past extreme familiarity and into new territory.