Rian Johnson has been building Star Wars: The Last Jedi from before J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens had even hit theaters. And when the news broke that Lucasfilm was moving forward with a new director for Episode IX, fans everywhere were calling out for the Star Wars story group to bring Johnson back to conclude the trilogy. While Johnson wasn’t announced to be back, it still left open the door for him to be involved in some way. Well, during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson revealed that to not actually be the case.
Before the sudden revolving door from Colin Trevorrow directing Episode IX to a returning J.J. Abrams, it was expected that Johnson would be staying on board following his own film to be a part of the writing process for Episode IX. But as many films do, Episode IX landed in the hands of a couple different writers, a new director and now after his sit down with THR, Johnson had this to say when asked if he had talked with Abrams about Episode IX:
“J.J. Abrams is doing a third movie. I’m not involved in it. They’ll be writing their own story but continuing on with what we did.”
Now, for us Star Wars fans who are “in the know” and stay up to date with anything and everything from the galaxy far, far away, this is definitely a surprise. From the number of Star Wars films that Lucasfilm and Disney have developed since the mouse house acquired the historic company back in 2012, Johnson’s The Last Jedi is the lone film that has not his a single speed bump in pre-production, production or post-production. So why wouldn’t he continue to be involved with the franchise going forward? There’s a few possibilities.
The first is the most obvious. When Johnson says “I’m not involved in it,” he could mean he’s just not involved officially. There is no possible way, no freaking way that Abrams, who is directing the sequel to Johnson’s The Last Jedi, doesn’t have Johnson’s phone number on speed dial. To craft the best sequel and film possible. Abrams needs to know what Johnson was thinking or where he saw things going for some of those unanswered questions we’ll no doubt get in The Last Jedi. Does he have to listen? No, but two minds work better than one. Always. Not to mention the two have already worked together, as it was Johnson who shot that nergasm scene of Luke’s return at the end of The Force Awakens.
The second possibility is that Johnson, who has been working on this film for more than two years, could just be completely wiped out. This isn’t just any kind of film, this isn’t just Star Wars movie, this is the sequel to one of the most successful Star Wars films and films period. And as I said earlier, Johnson has been working day and night for over two years to give us quite possibly the greatest Star Wars movie to hit the screen. And if the dude just wants a little bit of a break after endless hours in the world of Star Wars, so what. Plus, Abrams said after The Force Awakens that he’s never been so exhausted after working on a film and was looking forward to his time of. He took his time, but loved it so much that he’s now directing Episode IX. Just saying.
What do you think of Johnson not being involved in Episode IX and Star Wars for the time being? Is it the right move or were you looking forward to him being part of it some how going forward? How much are you looking forward to The Last Jedi? Are you happy with Abrams directing Episode IX? Let me know in the comments!