Since Lucasfilm partnered with Disney fans have been getting a lot more from the galaxy far, far away, and now they have announced that Rian Johnson will be teaming with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman to develop a new trilogy totally separate from the Skywalker Saga.
“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm 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.”
Unlike other big-time Hollywood directors, Johnson has an air of fandom about him when discussing Star Wars. He’s stayed just on the edge of Hollywood, doing things just a little differently, and with work like Brick and The Brothers Bloom, he’s shown us his own quirky nature. Johnson, who will write and direct at least the first installment of the new trilogy, has been outspoken on his overall view of what Sci-Fi means to him. Back in 2012, he had this to say on the subject:
I do love science fiction, but it’s not really a genre unto itself; it always seems to merge with another genre. With the few movies I’ve done, I’ve ended up playing with genre in some way or another, so any genre that’s made to mix with others is like candy to me. It allows you to use big, mythic situations to talk about ordinary things. It gives you the same tools—not to be too grand—that the Greeks had with their gods, but it gives them to you in a way that allows a modern audience to absorb them. The fact that you have this layer of science over everything makes these magical instruments palatable to the modern audience.
Star Wars has always been more than your average Sci-Fi/Fantasy film, and Johnson’s philosophy in filmmaking seems well paired with that. The massive fan base that the Star Wars franchise has is one that has proven hard to please, but Johnson and Bergman seem well up to the task and understand the weight of responsibility that will come with creating a new extension to the expanding universe.
“We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi,” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”
Johnson has also been vocal about his own opinions on the use of CGI, something that critics have agreed had a major hand in the uneven reception of the three films notoriously referred to as “The Prequels.”
In 2012, fresh off Looper, Johnson made his opinions clear to The Huffington Post,
“Even if I had $200 million, I’m very wary of overusing CGI. I think it’s a great tool and it can be used really effectively, but I feel like it does tend to be overused and especially in sci-fi stuff. It’s so easy to create the shiny futuristic world that you do a virtual camera move through at the beginning. It’s so easy to do that — so it’s tempting to do that. It seemed more interesting to me to create a much more grounded, recognizable world that’s, like, 10 degrees off. You’re right, though. To some extent, I wouldn’t say it’s a function of budget, but that was just the more interesting approach, I guess. I don’t know. I also have no idea what I would do with $200 million. It seems like an ungodly amount of money. I think I would make eight movies with it.”
Audiences are about to find out exactly what Johnson and Bergman could do with a massive budget. While the exact budget for the new trilogy has yet to be released, the budget for The Last Jedi is rumored to be around $250 million. The Force Awakens was well received, but The Last Jedi will be the real test of Johnson and Bergman’s potential for building a new trilogy that holds true to the staying power of the original trilogy.
Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) November 9, 2017
The new trilogy won’t be the last of the expanding universe. Disney is also in talks for a live-action Star Wars series that would likely be available on their recently announced online streaming service. If the other expanded universe material – the books, Disney’s Rebels, and the like – are any indication of the quality fans can hope for from the new show and the new trilogy, generations of fans are in luck.
We wonder, could there ever be too much Star Wars? Nope, never. What are your thoughts on the idea of a new trilogy? Let us know what you think in the comments below, visit us on GEEK FB, and may the Force be with us all.