Last week, Lucasfilm announced that Colin Trevorrow, who had been attached to direct Star Wars: Episode IX since 2015, would no longer be helming the 2019 space opera. This is the latest directorial shakeup that the Star Wars franchise has had to deal with in recent years, but the search continues to find someone to succeed Trevorrow on Episode IX. Shortly after the official announcement, it was rumored that Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson might be in line to continue his work on a galaxy far, far away and oversee Episode IX, but now Johnson has made it clear that there are currently no plans for him to do that. In Johnson's words:
It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don't know what's going to happen with it. But for me, I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience. Now I'm just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. So no, I'm not really thinking about that right now. Whoever does it, I'm going to be really excited to be an audience member again, and to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going.
While appearing at a Japanese press conference to plug The Last Jedi (via Oricon), Rian Johnson took the time to set the record straight on if he'll be involved with Star Wars: Episode IX. Much like J.J. Abrams with The Force Awakens, it appears that Johnson is content with leaving his mark on just one Star Wars movie and wants to enjoy Episode IX as a normal moviegoer. Which leaves us back at the proverbial drawing board over who Disney and Lucasfilm might bring in to replace Trevorrow and get the Episode IX ship righted.
Lucasfilm officially attributed Colin Trevorrow's departure for Star Wars: Episode IX to differing visions, but it was also reported that the Jurassic World director was let go due to "script issues" and because his relationship with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had become "unmanageable." A different source also alleged that Trevorrow had an "egotistical point of view" following his success with Jurassic World, and that combined with his Lucasfilm issues was what led to his dismissal.
With Star Wars: Episode IX aiming to begin principal photography at the beginning of next year, Lucasfilm will need to work quickly to find someone to pick up were Colin Trevorrow left off. It only took a few days for the Han Solo movie to announce that Ron Howard had been brought in to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but as of yet, no new names have popped up as candidates for Episode IX. Wonder's Jack Thorne is currently penning the newest Episode IX draft.
We'll see how Rian Johnson fared with the Star Wars universe when The Last Jedi is released on December 15. Episode IX will follow on May 24, 2019.