The Last Jedi isn't even out yet, and director Rian Johnson already has three (!!!) more Star Wars films in the bag. That's right: On Thursday (November 9), Lucasfilm announced that Johnson will write and direct a brand new Star Wars trilogy starring original characters.
To say this is a surprise would be an understatement. Sure, it makes sense that Lucasfilm would want to continue its partnership with Johnson, a talented filmmaker who's been nothing but amenable with the studio. This is especially important considering the string of "creative differences" Lucasfilm previously experienced with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ( Solo: A Star Wars Story), Josh Trank (the untitled Boba Fett spinoff), and Colin Trevorrow ( Star Wars: Episode IX).
But the real shocker is that Star Wars is finally ready to deviate away from the beloved Skywalker saga.
According to Lucasfilm, these films will be "separate from the episodic Skywalker saga" and will add new characters from a part of the galaxy not previously explored in Star Wars. It's unclear whether this new trilogy will also feature porgs — the adorably tiny bird-like alien creatures introduced in The Last Jedi — but one can still hope. They are Johnson's legacy, after all.
"We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi," Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said in a statement. "He's a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy."
Meanwhile, Johnson took to social media to comment on the news:
I guess this explains why Johnson wasn't considered to helm Episode IX following Trevorrow's abrupt exit from the project in September. (J.J. Abrams, who directed the franchise relaunch Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, was tapped instead.)
Still, a new trilogy set within a different part of a galaxy far, far away? The possibilities are truly endless. No pressure or anything, Rian.
The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15.