With the numerous hirings and firings throughout the Star Wars galaxy, it came as a huge shock when it was announced that Rian Johnson, the director behind Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was being asked to shepherd a brand new trilogy set outside of the typical numbered episode canon. Set to explore a corner of the Star Wars universe we're not familiar with, there's going to be tons of speculation as to where this new trilogy will hang its storytelling hat, and why. And as far as this writer is concerned, this new set of films should be focused on a new, and at this moment unfamiliar, planet that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will bring us to this Christmas: the opulent casino planet Canto Bight.
Now, the big reason why this new trilogy should be set on this new, intriguing-sounding planet that Johnson has created from whole cloth is because of something he said earlier, when discussing Canto Bight itself. As he described the planet's function in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson laid it out as follows:
What we're going to see in The Last Jedi are some people who have managed to carve out a life for themselves where they can live apart from the galactic struggle. They found a way to live above it or beyond it. There's a class of wealthy that have helped build all sorts of loopholes in society that will always ensure that they'll survive or even thrive no matter what else is happening out there.
A brand new setting that caters to the who's who of the Star Wars universe, Canto Bight is the sort of place that criminal activity and opulent ignorance of outer world events can collide as freely as possible. This is the sort of place Rian Johnson's previously established story chops could run wild, as Canto Bight leaves itself open to tales of detectives looking for the truth in a society that can be bought and sold at a moment's notice, criminals that are looking to make a not so honest buck, and/or spies somehow getting caught in the middle of it all. In short, it'd be a cool and gritty sidecar to the Star Wars universe, with Johnson's previous films like Brick and Looper inspiring the series on the whole.
Even better is the fact that if he really wanted to, Rian Johnson could play with any era in the Star Wars galaxy that he wanted. Considering there's already a short story collection that's going to play around with Canto Bight, named after the planet itself, there's more framework being built into the newly created planet. Not to mention, with a description like the following jacket copy, you can't help but remember that this is a Johnson creation:
In Canto Bight, one is free to revel in excess, untouched from the problems of a galaxy once again descending into chaos and war. Dreams can become reality, but the stakes have never been higher---for there is a darkness obscured by all the glamour and luxury.
In the best case scenario, Rian Johnson can create a trilogy of noir-tinted Star Wars stories that'll dive into the world of organized crime that we've seen hinted at in previous Star Wars films and properties. With new characters that don't have to cross over into the Skywalker Saga's timeline, there's total creative freedom for the writer/director to be able to make something new and exciting, only proving that Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm Ltd. brand were right in trusting him with three more films.
Of course, there could be other stories in the works with Rian Johnson's fledgling trilogy of side stories, and whatever they happen to be, the fact that they exist are still worth getting excited about. But with Canto Bight being a big selling point of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and its existence being so hyped at this point that we're hungry for any new details possible, we'd like to think that Johnson's further contributions in the Star Wars universe can (and should) lie on a planet he knows best, seemingly created just so these sorts of unique stories can be told in a galaxy far, far away.