‘Star Wars’: Is Rian Johnson’s Trilogy Still Happening?

Star Wars fans have a long history of being divided. First came Return of the Jedi‘s Ewok-heavy second act. Then, George Lucas brought us the trade routes and Gungans of the prequel trilogy. Most recently, the Star Wars fandom is split down the middle with regards to The Last Jedi.

The 2017 film from writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) left some fans claiming that “Star Wars is dead,” while others regard it as the best of the franchise. Before The Last Jedi‘s release, Lucasfilm announced that Johnson was onboard to develop his own Star Wars trilogy. So, given the debate since then, is Johnson’s trilogy still happening?

Rian Johnson at the Philadelphia Film Festival
Rian Johnson at the Philadelphia Film Festival | Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

An update direct from Rian Johnson

Over the last couple of years, reports have alternated between confirming Johnson’s trilogy is a go and claiming it’s been canceled. We know that the director turned down the opportunity to direct Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But is he still booking a return trip to the “galaxy far, far away”?

In a recent conversation with Entertainment Tonight (which you can see below), Johnson answered that very question.

“I have no update at all,” Johnson said. “But I’m still working with Lucasfilm on it, and they’re figuring out when they do what and everything.”

While Johnson’s answer seems vague, it falls in line with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s past assertions that the company is working on a long-term plan. Both Johnson’s trilogy and a series of films from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are reportedly still in the works.

What do we know about his ‘Star Wars’ trilogy?

Whether fans welcome Johnson back to the franchise with open arms remains to be seen. At this early stage, we don’t even have many details regarding what his Star Wars trilogy would even cover. We do know the films will introduce new characters and exist outside the Skywalker saga.

After all, The Rise of Skywalker is putting the story of Anakin and his legacy — as well as the complicated Rey/Kylo Ren dynamic — to bed for good. With many original trilogy characters popping up one last time, this year’s Star Wars marks the end of an era. Hopefully, whatever Johnson does will re-energize the franchise.

Some fans have speculated that his trilogy could take place in a different time period or explore a part of the galaxy we haven’t seen in the films. But all we can do now is wait for Johnson and/or Lucasfilm to finally move forward with the project. Lately, the focus has been on launching new Disney+ series like The Mandalorian.

What is Johnson working on now?

As for Johnson, he has a new murder-mystery film called Knives Out that is set for release later this month. The film features a stellar ensemble cast that includes Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Ana de Armas, and a very different side of Chris Evans.

Knives Out is already earning critical praise for its clever, irreverent take on the classic whodunnit setup. Yet, at the moment, Johnson doesn’t have a follow-up project lined up. If Lucasfilm does get moving on its Star Wars plans, perhaps fans of Johnson’s bold vision of the saga will get to see more of it sooner than they think.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20. Tickets are on sale now.