It seems like an eternity ago that Rian Johnson’s controversial (among fans) second entry in the “sequel trilogy” Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but just to catch up anyone who has forgotten Johnson (Knives Out, Brick) was said to have his own trilogy based in the galaxy far, far, away in the works at Disney. With the success of Star Wars TV projects and the, well, lack of projected success with the film properties after ‘The Force Awakens‘ most thought all of those projects were toast for the time being. Not so says the uber-talented storyteller (seriously, if you haven’t seen Brick or The Brothers Bloom put it on your queue now).
During an interview with Empire for his upcoming film Glass Onion (sequel to Knives Out) the topic of Star Wars came up. Surprisingly not only did Johnson confirm it was still on the table but also that he held the project as something important to him. That’s not to doubt his conviction or love of the property but, in his shoes, I would never want to touch Star Wars again knowing how the fans can be. Obviously a better man then me, Johnson said:
“I’ve stayed close to Kathleen [Kennedy] and we get together often and talk about it. It’s just at this point a matter of schedule and when it can happen. It would break my heart if I were finished, if I couldn’t get back in that sandbox at some point.”
Even as someone who wasn’t pro-The Last Jedi this is news that warms my heart. Why? Well because, as we saw previously, Johnson is someone who isn’t afraid to take things in a new direction and insert newness into a property that’s closing in on 50 years old. The same thing that didn’t work (for me) in his approach to an entry in the Skywalker Saga is the thing that will make his work excellent for a non Skywalker story. For instance, if his trilogy follows a galactic detective or bounty hunter of some sort unraveling a mystery across multiple planets working in all of the different species and locales that universe has to offer? Genius.
That’s not the only level on which this news is great. It’s also good to know that there’s still a solid pulse on theatrical Star Wars. Yes, they hit some bumps and yes the Disney+ thing has worked out big time, but there is a world where both mediums are symbiotic. Deep character driven storylines are run on streaming while big events are covered in theaters. Think the MCU if only the big team up movies were to hit theaters and all the single hero stories were done on streaming.