The Last Jedi turns 5: Rian Johnson would be sad if he never makes another Star Wars film

Five years ago, on December 15, 2017, the eighth chapter of the Star Wars Skywalker Saga was released, The Last Jedi, to a successful box office run and impressive critical acclaim.

Three months before the film’s release, in September, Lucasfilm made a director change for Episode IX, the sequel to The Last Jedi, and reportedly offered director Rian Johnson the job. He declined, leading to J.J. Abrams returning. But Johnson was game for a return to the franchise, so a month prior to The Last Jedi‘s release, Lucasfilm announced that the movie’s director, Rian Johnson, had signed on to create a new trilogy of Star Wars films separate from the iconic nine-film saga.

The trilogy has been in limbo ever since. While the Star Wars franchise tries to figure out the next steps with their theatrical releases, Johnson has become a massively successful director. His widespread recognition started with The Last Jedi, which grossed over $1 billion and was met by overwhelmingly positive reviews by critics when it released, and it continued with the release of his murder mystery film Knives Out in 2019, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. In the wake of the film’s success, Netflix struck a deal with Johnson worth over $400 million for two sequels, the first of which, Glass Onion, was recently released in a limited theatrical run and hits the streaming platform this week.

In other words: he’s been busy.

But despite that, every indication is that Johnson’s trilogy is still in the works at Lucasfilm. A year ago he confirmed it was still on, but no dates were set. This fall, Johnson once more reiterated that he still plans to make the films and it would break his heart if he didn’t return, and that it all comes down to schedules. Earlier in the year, Lucasfilm President Kathy Kennedy alluded to the same thing, saying that Johnson just hasn’t had the time needed to devote to Star Wars, which requires a significant time commitment. Johnson speaks regularly with Kennedy, and Kennedy said Johnson has become a part of their brain trust at Lucasfilm, but the schedule has not yet worked out.

In light of all of that, Insider recently asked Johnson about whether, if he never got to make these new Star Wars films, would it be the end of the world?

“It wouldn’t be the end of the world for anyone, I think,” Johnson responded. “But I would be sad. I love the world. I love the people. I love ‘Star Wars’ fans. I love the passion of how they engage in it, there’s nothing like telling a story in this world and then experiencing people truly connecting to it and letting you know that. It’s extraordinary. So I’m hoping I get to do it again, but nothing is the end of the world until the end of the world actually happens, which, what day of the week is it?”

Only time will tell whether this trilogy of films will ever happen, but there’s certainly no indication it will anytime soon, even though it hasn’t been cancelled either. But count me among those who would also be sad if it never happens. I love Johnson’s take on the Star Wars franchise and I really hope we get to see more.

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