Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson cast doubt whether he would work on Star Wars again while on the red carpet.
Johnson spoke with BANG Showbiz where he talked about being a Star Wars fan again detailing that he “was squealing at [his] screen” when watching the latest trailer for Rise of the Skywalker.
However, when asked if he would be working in the Star Wars universe again, Johnson stated, “Well, we’ll see. I’m still talking to Lucasfilm. They are figuring out what they are doing. And we’ll see what happens. I’d be thrilled if it happens. I’m working on my own stuff too.”
— BANG Showbiz (@BANGShowbiz) October 9, 2019
Johnson’s answer is a drastic change in the narrative when it comes to him and Star Wars. Disney and Star Wars had previously announced Johnson would be getting his own trilogy back in November 2017 before The Last Jedi ever hit theaters.
Kathleen Kennedy made the announcement saying:
“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi. He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”
Star Wars promised the new trilogy would “introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.” Johnson was expected to write and direct the trilogy with Ram Bergman producing.
However, The Last Jedi happened. The film divided audiences with the majority disliking it. It would lead to an utter bomb at the box office in Solo: A Star Wars story, declining Star Wars merchandise sales, and most recently lack of attendance at Disney’s new Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge theme parks at both Disneyland and Disney World.
Rumors have swirled around Johnson and his trilogy indicating that it wasn’t going to happen and Disney and Lucasfilm were moving in a different direction. Johnson would respond to one of those rumors. In February he wrote on Twitter, “No it isn’t true, I’m still working on the trilogy.”
No it isn’t true, I’m still working on the trilogy. With all due respect to the movie bros, who I’m sure are lovely kind bros with good fraternal intentions.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) February 14, 2019
In April, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy would indicate that Johnson’s place in the Star Wars machine had changed. While speaking with EW, Kennedy noted they were planning the next decade of Star Wars storytelling and that Rian Johnson would be working closely with the Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Kennedy stated, “As they finish Game of Thrones, they’re going to segue into Star Wars. They’re working very closely with Rian.”
Benioff and Weiss were supposed to be working on their own separate series of Star Wars films unrelated to Johnson. The idea that they were working together was new and hinted that Johnson’s future with Star Wars would be in doubt.
Interestingly enough, in that same EW interview, Kennedy noted they were looking at bringing in new talent for Star Wars, “We have a series of filmmakers that we’re bringing into the fold, that we can start to look at as directing talent, and we’re trying to bring women into the mix as well.” She added, “We’re making it very inclusive with the group of people that we’re pulling together.”
This came after Bob Iger indicated that the mistake he made with Star Wars was doing too much too fast. Why would you bring in new people if you already have Johnson, Benioff, and Weiss who are working on Star Wars films if you believe the problem with Star Wars was too much too fast. That sounds like you are doubling down on what you are saying is the problem.
Disney would announce in early May three new Star Wars films slated to drop in 2022, 2024, and 2026. The only names attached to those films was D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. And in fact, they are only attached to the first film.
Bob Iger made that very clear while speaking at the MoffetNathanson Media & Communications summit. He stated:
“We did a deal with David Benioff and D.B Weiss, who are famous for Game Of Thrones, and the next movie that we release will be theirs. And we’re not saying anything more about that.”
Moving into September, Johnson would discuss his Star Wars status while promoting his Knives Out film. He told Uproxx, “I’m where I can’t say anything about it. Still completely in process with it. It’s just, I don’t know. “It’s a process” means it’s a process. So that means it could change, it could shift. There are a bunch of moving parts with it.”
Now, Johnson is saying Lucasfilm is still discussing whether or not have him do a Star Wars trilogy. This comes just a couple weeks after Disney’s Alan Horn announced Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige would be producing a new Star Wars film, with speculation indicating that move was a pink slip for Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
The narrative has definitely changed from Johnson working on a new trilogy to Lucasfilm “figuring out what they are doing” in regards to the trilogy.
What do you make of Johnson’s most recent comments? Do you think he’s out at Star Wars?