‘Star Wars’ Director Rian Johnson Wants to Go ‘Beyond the Legacy Characters’ for Planned Trilogy

Ryan Lattanzio

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Despite rumors to the contrary and internet trolls decrying his specific vision of the “Star Wars” universe in 2017’s box-office Wampa “The Last Jedi,” Rian Johnson is charging full-speed ahead with his planned new trilogy of films entrusted to him by Lucasfilm.

The “Brick” and “Looper” filmmaker, whose hotly awaited murder-mystery “Knives Out” bows this fall at the Toronto International Film Festival, told The Observer that he’s excited to get started on a new slate of “Star Wars” films disconnected from the dominating Skywalker saga.

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“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,” Johnson said in the interview. “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 George Lucas’ films, 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 taking the baton from director J.J. Abrams, who helmed 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” the planned trilogy will be Johnson’s first return to a galaxy far, far away since “The Last Jedi.” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the final entry in the current trilogy that began with “Force Awakens,” will reunite director Abrams with the material. This will be the final part of the nine-part Skywalker journey that began all the way back with “A New Hope.”

Disney, which now owns the “Star Wars” universe, recently announced dates for a planned trilogy of films from “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, which will begin rolling out in 2022. Walt Disney Studios will blast “The Rise of Skywalker” into theaters on December 20.

IndieWire recently broke down all the ways that the “Star Wars” universe needs to evolve to stay relevant.

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