Of the many mysteries Star Wars fans have pondered in recent years, one of the biggest is whether or not Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson would return to the galaxy far, far away to deliver his announced trilogy of spinoff films, with the filmmaker's latest comments about the endeavor being that he's still speaking with Lucasfilm about those plans, though their slate of theatrical endeavors has yet to be confirmed. This is only the latest instance of Johnson implying that these films are still likely to happen at some point in the future, with the reminder that the decisions about the franchise's future rest with the studio.
"I'm still talking to Lucasfilm but they haven't announced anything on their slate yet," Johnson confirmed with Variety.
With 91% positive reviews according to aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Jedi was one of the best-reviewed films of 2017, which went on to earn $1.4 billion worldwide. Last year, Johnson delivered audiences his first follow-up effort with Knives Out, another one of the best-reviewed films of the year, which sits at 97% positive reviews. Earlier this week, Johnson even earned himself an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay with Knives Out.
In the wake of The Last Jedi, the Star Wars brand hasn't fared quite as Johnson. Six months after that film hit theaters, Solo: A Star Wars Story debuted and delivered one of the franchise's lowest box office totals in history. Last December, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters and earned some of the franchise's worst reviews, currently sitting at 53% positive on Rotten Tomatoes.
In the more than two years since Rian Johnson was confirmed to be developing his own independent trilogy of Star Wars films, the first of which he was set to direct, Lucasfilm and the Star Wars community have experienced a fair share of tumult. Despite The Last Jedi earning much praise from fans and critics, the fans who didn't enjoy the experience have expressed their disappointment loudly and often in the years since its release, while The Rise of Skywalker has inspired similar division among the fan base. Only months after Johnson was announced to be getting his own films, so were the Game of Thrones co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who parted ways with the studio last year.
As far as confirmed release dates, Lucasfilm does have three Star Wars films on the books for December 2022, December 2024, and December 2026, though it's unknown what these films will be. While some think that the studio will do whatever it takes to persuade Johnson back to the franchise, despite having already announced he hopes to move forward on a Knives Out sequel within a year, other fans think Lucasfilm will want to wipe their theatrical slate entirely clean to forge a new path forward.
Stay tuned for details on the Star Wars franchise.
Do you think Johnson will leave the franchise behind? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!