It’s been dark in the Star Wars universe for a few months. Not long ago, it was revealed that the Han Solo directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller would no longer be attached to the film, and in his place, Lucasfilm put Ron Howard in. That shake-up was already disheartening enough, but more recently, it was announced that Colin Trevorrow would be stepping down as director of Star Wars: Episode 9.
Of course, as happens on the internet, it went ablaze with rumors and suggestions as to who should take the man’s place. However, there was one outlet that swooped in with an interesting possibility. Deadline stated that insiders were saying that Star Wars: The Last Jedi director was being considered to finish out this trilogy.
Unlike most of the other directors who had either been fired or puppeted by Lucasfilm, Johnson reportedly filled his role as director seamlessly into the Lucasfilm machine. Obviously, that’s a big deal, and while we still don’t know how Star Wars: The Last Jedi will fare quality-wise, it seems fair to assume it’s at least decent, given these rumors. But how possible is it?
While at a promotional event in Japan, director Rian Johnson stated that he hadn’t considered it yet, saying:
“It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode 9, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with it…for me, I was entirely focused on Episode 8 and having this experience. Now I’m just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. So no, I’m not really thinking about that right now. Whoever does it, I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again, and to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going.”
Of course, this is not a flat-out denial of him directing Episode 9, but it can’t be overlooked that he’s still in the midst of finishing up The Last Jedi. Sure, it’s mostly done, but they likely still have to finalize picture, finish up the effects, and then promote the thing. With the release date looming a little over a year and a half away, it’s difficult for us to see a scenario where he has time to make this happen — at least not without delaying the film an extra six months.
But to play Devil’s advocate, because he is still neck-deep in The Last Jedi, it’s very possible that if Lucasfilm did want him for the gig, that they’d keep him in the dark for now. Why disrupt the postproduction of their latest film? It’d only distract him from making Star Wars: The Last Jedi as good as it can be. With that in mind, perhaps they are hoping to go to him, and are waiting for the right moment.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Star Wars: Episode 9 hits theaters on May 24, 2019…for now…