When Disney acquired the STAR WARS Franchise you could literally quote Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope when he said; “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.“
That silence was brought about by Disney’s reveal that they tapped J.J. Abrams to direct STAR WARS Episode VII. For many, this move was a sign that Disney not only respected the property, but at the same time knew what they were doing. While many assumed that J.J. would be taking on multiple installments nothing was confirmed past the initial film in the new trilogy. Now we know for certain that he was only tapped for one film.
Yesterday Deadline broke the news that Writer/Director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper) would be officially helming the next two numbered films, being STAR WARS Episode VIII and Episode IX. However, even more shocking than the news that he got tied to 2 films, is that duties will not be limited to Director alone, he will also be writing both films.
So why is this a big deal? Its simple, Rian Johnson is virtually an unknown. With only 3 films under his belt, and only a small handful of TV Episodes and shorts, this name is virtually unknown. But that doesn’t mean he’s not the best choice imaginable for this gig.
With Brick he immediately showed off both his writing and directing skills. To this day the film holds a “cult classic” standing, with many still debating over certain key points in the film, Brothers Bloom gave fans a quirky comedy which showed his humor and once again showcased his meticulous writing ability, but to many his crowning jewel was Looper. Looper took a very unique approach at time travel, added a gangster plot, and pretty much blew the minds of everyone who saw it. In short, he is not only a fantastic director, but his writing is phenomenal.
So where will these two films go? No idea. Fans have been trying to speculate the plot for Episode VII since it was first being written, but with the limited leaks and casting details, very few have any remote idea what this film is about. So given the hardship with trying to figure out Part 1 of a new trilogy, trying to guess at 2 & 3 is near to impossible.
After all of this, one thing is clear… Disney knows what its doing with STAR WARS.
STAR WARS EPISODE VIII and EPISODE IX are currently slated for a tentative release window of 2017 and 2019.