Not only does this year mark five years of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi – it also marks five years since Lucasfilm announced an all-new trilogy of Star Wars movies to be created by that film’s writer-director, Rian Johnson. Half a decade later, those films are yet to materialize – but though, like Luke Skywalker hidden away on Ahch-To, they seem to have disappeared, they’re not totally gone. Speaking to EmpireJohnson made it clear that he hasn’t forgotten about his set of original Star Wars movies, and still has a burning desire to return to the galaxy far, far away down the line.
“I’ve stayed close to Kathleen [Kennedy] and we get together often and talk about it,” he tells Empire of his long-awaited Star Wars series. “It’s just at this point a matter of schedule and when it can happen. It would break my heart if I were finished, if I couldn’t get back in that sandbox at some point.” For now, he’s hard at working cooking up two Knives Out sequels for Netflix – the first of which, Glass Onion, is arriving this December. Meanwhile, the Star Wars slate is looking similarly busy, with Andor weeks away from debuting, the return of The Mandalorian coming early next year, and Ahsoka to follow.
Johnson’s comments track with what Kathleen Kennedy told Empire at Star Wars Celebration earlier this year – that everyone involved has a full plate for now, but the films are by no means dead and buried. “Now, everybody’s so busy – genuinely busy and working on things,” Kennedy said a few months ago. “Rian had such a gigantic success with Knives Out that he’s very committed to try and get that done. So it’ll be a while. And we have to work three, five years in advance on what we’re doing. So that’s where that sits. But we love him.” There’s a spark of hope, then. And if The Last Jedi taught us anything, it’s that all it took was a spark to light the fire to burn the First Order down. We’re more than willing to wait for a fresh batch of Rian Johnson Star Wars stories to ignite.
Read Empire’s full The Last Jedi five-year anniversary interview with Rian Johnson in the Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery issue – also featuring a world-exclusive look at Johnson’s new murder-mystery, and fresh photos from Johnson’s personal archive across his filmography, from The Last Jedi and Looperto Brig and breaking Bad. Find the issue on newsstands from Thursday 1 September, or pre-order a copy online here.