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Rian Johnson is a divisive figure for Star Wars fans. As director of The Last Jedi, he faced an onslaught of backlash from those who weren’t thrilled with the narrative choices. News that he’d been tasked with creating a new series of Star Wars films wasn’t met with the warmest reception from those who already had issues with him -- and we’ve had a confusing mix of information about the status of that project ever since. And now appears that even the director is waiting to find out whether they are happening or not.
It’s not the first vague comment Rian Johnson has made about his future with the franchise. But it’s at least a little more concrete than some of his previous remarks. In October, he dropped an “if” when discussing his next steps with Star Wars in an interview with Bang Showbiz (he later clarified that he thinks it’s less of an ‘if’ and more of a ‘when’).
But, to be fair, it seems like a lot is up in the air where Star Wars is concerned these days. In addition to the backlash surrounding The Last Jedi, the standalone Solo failed to impress at the box office, which seems to have caused Disney to put similar projects on hold. Fans can still anticipate the end of the nine-part epic Skywalker saga this December. But after The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian, it’s difficult to tell where they will go next.
Upheaval outside of Rian Johnson’s role in the franchise has only made things more confusing. Game of Thrones showrunners D.B Weiss and David Benioff were on deck to create their own series of Star Wars films. But they ended their relationship with Lucasfilm somewhat abruptly (allegedly due to concerns about facing another fervent fandom). And Disney CEO Bob Iger has made it pretty clear he thinks they goofed in throwing so many Star Wars projects at fans in such quick succession.
In other words, if Rian Johnson is in the dark about Star Wars’ long-term future, he’s probably not the only one. For his part, the director has weathered the controversy surrounding The Last Jedi. He’s fiercely defended the creative decisions he made. And when The Rise of Skywalker’s trailer dropped, he proved that even if he's in 'wait and see' mode with his own Star Wars projects, he can still geek out with the best of us.