5 Things That Would Ruin Rian Johnson’s New Star Wars Trilogy

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Lucasfilm dropped a Death Star-sized bombshell when the studio announced that Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson would create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy, “separate from the episodic Skywalker saga” and featuring “new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”

However, while Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has the utmost confidence that Johnson “will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy,” there are still those of us who are skeptical about what’s to come. We here at Epicstream certainly have high hopes, but nevertheless, here are 5 things that would ruin Rian Johnson’s new Star Wars trilogy:

  1. Directorial Drama

    According to StarWars.com, Rian Johnson will “create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy, the first of which he is also set to write and direct, with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce.” What’s interesting about this, among other things, is that as of right now, Johnson is only slated to write and direct the first film. What about the other two, though?

    The fact of the matter is, Lucasfilm has had more than its fair share of directorial shakeups over the past few years. In 2015, Josh Trank left a planned Boba Fett standalone movie, with sources reporting that he was fired due to his “unusual conduct” during the making of Fox’s Fantastic Four flop. During the filming of 2016’s Rogue One, Disney and Lucasfilm weren’t satisfied with the first cut that Gareth Edwards delivered so they brought in Tony Gilroy to oversee massive reshoots. This summer, Solo: A Star Wars Story directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were ousted due to creative differences, and most recently, planned Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow parted ways with Lucasfilm for the same reason.

    From what it sounds like, Johnson will oversee the creative aspect of the new trilogy, essentially assuming the role that George Lucas played in the original trilogy. However, even with one person in charge of the overall vision of the trilogy, entrusting other directors to execute that vision isn’t always so cut and dry. Clearly, Lucasfilm has a lot of faith in Johnson, so let’s just hope that he puts his own trust in the right people (or that he writes/directs the other two films himself).

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  2. Oversaturation

    In addition to the news of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy, we also learned that Disney is planning a live-action Star Wars TV series that will air exclusively on the studio’s yet-to-be-released streaming service. This is on top of the already-confirmed saga films and spinoffs, as well as projects that are either rumored or in early talks, such as Episode X and beyond, and Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda standalone movies. Couple all that with the inevitable replacement for the soon-to-be-concluded Star Wars Rebels on the animation front and you’re looking at a sith-load of Star Wars.

    While it’s great that Lucasfilm is copiously ironing out their plans for the next decade, too much of a good thing could potentially spoil the magic. The original films and the prequels each had three-year gaps in their release dates, with 16 years separating the actual trilogies, themselves. Now, we’re getting new Star Wars films every year, and from the looks of it, that frequency is only going to increase. For some fans, that’s a positive, but if a large portion of them are burned out from Star Wars fatigue by the time this new trilogy arrives, it could spell disaster for not just Johnson, but Lucasfilm.

  3. Following The Same Formula As The Original And Prequel Trilogies

    It’s no secret that there are enormous parallels between the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy. In fact, even Episodes I, IV, and VII all follow a similar formula, and while it’s unlikely that this trend will continue to spill into the remainder of the sequel trilogy, it would sure be disappointing if Johnson’s new trilogy feels like the Skywalker saga, but with different characters.

    The OT, the PT, and even Rebels, to a certain extent, all tell stories of young men leaving home and becoming Jedi, and both trilogies end with funerals following climactic three-way battles, with countless more similarities along the way. In Kathleen Kennedy’s own words, Johnson literally has a “blank canvas” to work with, and while we have no reason to believe he would follow the same formula as the OT and the PT, it would be an outrageously wasted opportunity if he did.  

  4. Completely Ignoring The Saga Films

    Despite everything touched upon in the previous entry, a new Star Wars trilogy shouldn’t outright ignore such galaxy-changing events as the Clone Wars, Order 66, the rise of the Galactic Empire, the rebellion, etc. Of course, this will largely depend on when this new trilogy takes place, but even if it’s set in the Old Republic era, something that ties the new trilogy to the events of the prequel, original, or even the sequel trilogy will go miles in terms of giving Johnson’s films a “shared universe” feel. 

  5. Completely Ignoring Other Mediums

    In addition to the other films, Johnson’s new Star Wars trilogy shouldn’t ignore the characters, stories, and thematic elements from other mediums such as comics, novels, video games, etc.

    As discussed previously, the aforementioned report from StarWars.com says that the trilogy will feature “new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored,” but it isn’t entirely clear whether or not that means characters and stories from, let’s say the Expanded Universe, are off-limits. Likewise, it’s hard to say whether or not this means recent additions to Star Wars canon from the comics, such as the fan-favorite Doctor Aphra, could appear in some capacity.

    In any case, it would be a complete and utter shame if Johnson doesn’t adapt some elements from other Star Wars media, whether it be canon or Legends. (Fingers crossed for Knights of the Old Republic!)