Fan hopes are high for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi after we were all wowed by The Force Awakens. So far, the little we've seen of the sequel movie has filled us with confidence for new writer/director Rian Johnson to take up the franchise's reins from JJ Abrams, especially as the two worked closely together and with the Lucasfilm Story Group to map out the plot for the sequel trilogy, as well as the extended canon books.
Initially, we also heard that Johnson would be writing a script treatment for Star Wars Episode IX as well as Episode VIII, which many fans were pleased about as this proved a sense of continuity within the sequel trilogy. However, now Rian Johnson has stepped in to clarify matters — and it seems his involvement in Episode IX was revised and reduced since the report in 2014.
We hadn't heard any more about Johnson working on Star Wars Episode IX since Deadline's 2014 report about him writing the script treatment, so it makes sense that things have changed.
Instead, Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow is writing the script. Trevorrow previously worked on Jurrassic World with co-writer Derek Connolly, who is also joining him for #StarWars9. Recently, Connolly penned the screenplay for the well-received Kong: Skull Island.
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Yet, fans reacted with disappointment to Johnson's revelation that he had no role in writing Star Wars Episode IX. Although #TheLastJedi hasn't been released yet, Johnson's eagerness to interact with fans on social media has earned him a lot of popularity. His previous work on Looper and Brick Lane have also raised fan hopes that The Last Jedi will be an excellent addition to the #StarWars franchise, and the latest teaser trailer seemed to confirm this:
But most of all, fans are hoping for consistency in the Star Wars sequel narrative. Both of the previous Star Wars trilogies have been envisioned by one person: though George Lucas didn't write all the screenplays, or direct each film, he had a plan for the entire story. So does this mean the new trilogy begun in #TheForceAwakens has a more chaotic structure?
Actually, no. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is overseeing all upcoming Star Wars movies, and she definitely has a plan for them — in fact, JJ Abrams revealed back in 2015 that Kennedy was the one to come up with the character of Rey, which is one of the reasons why he agreed to direct The Force Awakens, as he found this character so compelling.
But Kennedy didn't stop there: she also formed the Lucasfilm Story Group, a braintrust of veteran Star Wars creators like Dave Filoni (The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels), Pablo Hidalgo, Carrie Beck, and Diana Williams.
These execs have been involved in building the Star Wars mythology for many years, and the group has the mammoth task of ensuring the canon is cohesive. After scrapping the old Expanded Universe, the Lucasfilm Story Group have built a new extended canon, with each novel, comic and animated show dropping hints for the wider story.
Due to this, it's safe to assume that, even if Rian Johnson isn't involved in writing Star Wars Episode IX, all story decisions will be run past the Lucasfilm Story Group and vetted by Kennedy herself. There is a plan in place, and Trevorrow and Connolly are just the newest filmmakers to join the team. In Lucasfilm we trust.
Tell us in the comments: how do you think the sequel trilogy should end?