In December, Disney (DIS) announced a whopping 10 new television series set within the Star Wars universe being developed by Lucasfilm for Disney+. The company also confirmed that Taika Waititi will be writing and directing a Star Wars feature due out in 2024 while Wonder Woman 1984 filmmaker Patty Jenkins is helming Rogue Squadron for a 2023 release. Noticeably absent was any sort of update on Rian Johnson’s trilogy of new Star Wars features which was first announced way back in 2017 prior to the release of The Last Jedi. In fact, Johnson’s trilogy has not received any official update from Disney in years following the divisive response to his entry in the Sequel Trilogy.
But in an upcoming exclusive interview with USA Today, the filmmaker seemingly confirms that his project is still in the works at Lucasfilm. Writer and reporter Sariah Wilson provided a brief tease on Twitter, though noted that no timeline for his trilogy has been set as of yet.
I'm just going to post this now because I can see that I'm going to get a lot of requests –
Yes, Rian's SW trilogy is still on. No dates or timelines because he has other projects going on, but it is happening.
THAT IS ALL I KNOW ABOUT IT. 😁😁😁
— Sariah Wilson (@sariahwilson) February 16, 2021
Lucasfilm did not immediately respond to Observer’s request for comment.
In August 2019, Johnson told Observer what excites him about making a trilogy that is disconnected from the main Skywalker saga:
“I think that the fun and challenging part of it is to dive in, figure out what’s exciting and then figure out what it’s going to be. 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 Lucasfilm 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.”
After releasing five theatrical Star Wars films in four years between 2015 and 2019—including Solo: A Star Wars Story, the first picture in the franchise to lose money, and Rise of Skywalker, which disappointed relative to expectations—former Disney CEO Bob Iger admitted that the studio “might’ve put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast.”
With films coming from Jenkins, Waititi and even Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, it’s difficult to see where Johnson’s trilogy fits into Star Wars‘ crowded big screen future. But as one of the most versatile and original storytellers in all of Hollywood, the Knives Out filmmaker deserves the chance to tell a fresh tale unencumbered by the world building required by the main saga.
Johnson is currently developing a sequel to Knives Out, which grossed more than $310 million worldwide against a budget of just $40 million and scored a Best Original Screenplay nomination at last year’s Oscars.