Rian Johnson's Goal For His New Star Wars Trilogy

Finn in a cruiser on Crait

While it was released back in December, fans and cinephiles alike haven't stopped dissecting and discussing Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Director Rian Johnson purposefully subverted fan expectations, and brought a wild sequel that challenged much of what we thought we knew about the galaxy far, far away. While some purists took umbrage with Johnson's ambitious choices, critics and Lucasfilm alike have applauded The Last Jedi. Johnson has even been granted a new trilogy of his own to develop, which will be the main installments once Episode IX concludes the current trio of movies. Now the writer/director has revealed what he's currently focusing on in the development process:

Really, the only goal I have is to think about how Star Wars made me feel as a kid. And that's it. I'm trying to capture: what is that, if it's not iconography that we recognize, necessarily, from the original trilogy? What captures that spirit? What can be that for a kid who's never heard of Star Wars? It's getting back to the very fundamental questions of what makes this what it is.

While The Last Jedi seemed partly focused on challenging fans' idea of the franchise, it seems Rian Johnson plans to go back to basics for his trilogy of sequels. He want fans to feel the excitement and wonder that they did while watching Star Wars movies as kids, which may mean he's leaning toward more traditional storytelling.

Rian Johnson's comments to Digital Spy might be a relief for those Star Wars fans who has problems with his choices in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. When the sequel hit theaters during the Holiday Season, there were certain groups of fans who voiced their disapproval. They didn't agree with Johnson's use of Force abilities, or the drastic changes to Luke Skywalker. Some went so far as to say The Last Jedi isn't even a Star Wars movie, while the extreme haters even made death threats on Johnson's life.

On the flipside, other critics and fan applauded how Rian Johnson was able to consistently surprise the audience throughout the film's runtime. Rey's parentage, Snoke's fate, and Leia's survival of a near death experience were all major plot twists, and almost nothing in The Last Jedi turned out the way the community had predicted in the wake of The Force Awakens. This was thrilling for those who went along for the ride, and it should be interesting to see where he takes three entire movies.

Alas, we'll have to wait a number of years before we get any answers. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available On Demand and for home purchase now. The next installment in the franchise is Solo: A Star Wars Story will arrive on May 25, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.