On November 9th the Star Wars website revealed that Rian Johnson, the writer-director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was to create an all-new Star Wars trilogy.
Johnson will write and direct the first movie with Ram Bergman set to produce. The only information regarding the story itself was that Johnson will introduce new characters from part of the galaxy that Star Wars has never before explored.
Whilst this is exciting news for the future of Star Wars in the movie theatre, it also suggests more than you might realise about the conclusion of the current Skywalker trilogy, episodes seven to nine. More of that in a moment.
First of all let’s be honest, this isn’t surprising news. “Disney to make another Star Wars movie”, is a headline to which by now we should have become accustomed.
Although these new Star Wars movies will be different in many ways, it’s worth noting that the first episode will be Disney’s seventh Star Wars movie, one more than had been made in the thirty years prior to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm. Which basically means we’ll be in very new territory indeed.
So a new film isn’t in itself news, but the omission of ANY existing characters means the story is no longer tied to the Skywalker saga or for that matter to this current period of galactic history. The possibilities for a very different type of story really are endless.
What’s disappointing is the lack of any real news about the storyline. The fact a director has been appointed is interesting but it’s nothing we can really begin to discuss.
It appears we’ll have to wait until some time next year for any meaningful information to be released. In fairness to Rian Johnson, he has been rather busy lately and may need some time to put his new vision together!
This also raises the question of whether Disney will honour the tradition of gap years between trilogies? Whist a movie each year is exciting, here at Pink Bantha we really wonder just how long that momentum can be maintained. See our post from September – “What if? The Phantom Menace – Special Edition”
Setting the groundwork
This new trilogy wasn’t dreamt up after a few late night drinks at Skywalker ranch. Probably somewhere near ten billlion dollars will will be at stake with the launch a new trilogy.
The question is whether the viewing public want a Star Wars film without Skywalkers? And in Rouge One we had our answer.
Yes Rouge One was set within the time frame of the Skaywaker saga, and yes it even featured two Skywalkers. But the film wasn’t about them. The film set about asking if we’d be prepared to let Jyn, Casian and Krenic into our Star Wars universe. The answer was a resounding yes.
So Disney had their answer and now we can look ahead to the Star Wars universe becoming an even bigger place than it is today.
That brings us back to episode nine and what a new story arc without existing characters might mean for Rey, Finn and Luke.
The simple fact that none of those characters will ever appear again, means that any ending is possible. Does the Jedi Order return, does the Sith empire return, does the First Order take control of the galaxy or none of the above?
Either way it does mean that J.J Abrams, who is set to direct episode nine, will have a very free hand to decide who lives and who dies.
The Old Republic
Amongst fans there’s a real temptations to think that we might go all the way back to the rise or the end of the Sith empire, which came before the period of peace under the Republic.
This could include the exciting possibility major set battles. But not the turgid Droid Federation verses Jedi battles we saw in episodes one to three.
Rather, a Sith verses Jedi trilogy that leads us up to the implementation of the Rule of Two. This would give the wider fanbase the key marketing facet of any Star Wars film, Jedi, lightsabers and the Force in action.
It’s doubtful that a new trilogy would abandon these core concepts. A trilogy about smugglers, the Hutts or dare I say it, a trade dispute would be a hard sell.
Yes, Rouge One did this but it drew on very familiar territory, storylines and characters to ensure we we routed into the film and believed that it was part of the galaxy that we all know so well.
Most of you would have watched the animated Clone Wars series, which did a good job of documenting the drama and action of the Clone Wars.
It told the wider story of how a thriving Republic with a Jedi Order beloved by the populace at large, descended ever so slowly to the point where a military insurrection against the very same Jedi went unchallenged.
Clearly these masses of scope here for a trilogy. The only problem is that I’m not sure what a trilogy would bring that hasn’t already been achieved by the series itself.
Having said that, the new trilogy is supposed to set in a new part of the galaxy so a Clone Wars trilogy is unlikely. Although if could happen during that period.
The truth of the matter is simply that we don’t know and can’t even begin to guess what, when, where or will feature.
But it does mean we have loads of time to let our wildest Star Wars ideas loose on the internet.
You never know Rian might be listening.
Have you seen…
New trilogy to take Star Wars – Back to the Future?
Last Jedi trailer #2 threatens to reveal all
What if? The Phantom Menace – Special Edition
Four people Snoke definitely is not
The era of the original trilogy will soon be over
Is the Last Jedi set to break our hearts?
Kathleen Kennedy steps in to resolve ‘creative differences’
Time for the Jedi to end
A canon too far
The Jedi in our midst