Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Trilogy Will Move Past The ‘Legacy Characters’

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The Star Wars landscape is going to look a lot different after The Rise of Skywalker comes out. Along with the franchise expanding with several Disney+ shows, there are also numerous cinematic trilogies in the work, including the one being worked on by Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson (no, he didn’t drop it).

In keeping with Lucasfilm’s love of secrecy, we still haven’t learned anything specific about what Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy will be about, only that it will be separate from the Skywalker Saga. Johnson has now reiterated that the goal for his next three Star Wars movies is to move past the characters we’re incredibly familiar with and take the Star Wars film series in a new direction. In his words:

I think that the fun and challenging part of it is to dive in, figure out what’s exciting and then figure out what it’s going to be. We’re doing something that steps beyond the legacy characters. What does that look like? To me, the blue sky element of it is what was most striking about it. I know the way that I’m coming at it and what’s fun about it for everyone in George Lucas’ films is figuring out, ‘what’s the next step?’ It really makes you think and figure out what the essence of Star Wars is for me and what that will look like moving forward.

It’s one thing to create a Star Wars trilogy starring brand-new faces, but judging by Rian Johnson’s comments to Observer, it sounds like these movies won’t even reference the “legacy characters”… or at least, not that much.

Depending on the time period, maybe there will be a mention of the Empire and Rebellion or the First Order and the Resistance, or even include an off-handed reference to a major figure like Palpatine or Luke Skywalker, but it’s not like these movies will be leaning heavily on the main canon that’s quite familiar to fans.

Instead, Rian Johnson is looking to explore the “essence” of Star Wars in a way that doesn’t rely on one needing to have in-depth knowledge of a galaxy far, far away. He expressed similar thoughts last year when he talked about how he’s interested in the capturing the spirit of the original trilogy and “getting back to the very fundamental questions of what makes [Star Wars] what it is.”

Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy was announced back in November 2017, giving us our first indication of what the next era of Star Wars films would look like. Since then, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been tapped to helm their own trilogy, and there’s also reportedly a Knights of the Old Republic movie in the works that could be the first installment of a trilogy.

Because the Benioff/Weiss trilogy is already planned to unfold across 2022, 2024 and 2026, it’s unclear when we can expect Rian Johnson’s trilogy (though he will start working on it once Knives Out has been released). Maybe his movies will come out in the years the Benioff/Weiss trilogy is on break, or maybe it’ll be saved until 2027 or even later.

Either way, however you feel about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there’s no question that it was polarizing among the Star Wars fanbase. Since Rian Johnson plans to distance his new movies from the main mythos and chart a new path, while still keeping the overall substance of the property alive, that could result in these particular Star Wars tales earning better overall reception.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for all the latest and greatest Star Wars news. Don’t forget to also look through our 2019 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater for the rest of the year accordingly.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.