– by Joseph Jammer Medina

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.

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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…

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SOURCE: Oricon, Deadline

  • Misutā Supākoru

    I doubt Johnson is being left in the dark on this one. If he wanted the job, I believe it would be his. I think he’s doing the political, decent thing and not dancing on the grave. He’s keeping his focus on where it belongs: TLJ.
    And, KK wouldn’t have fired CT without an idea of whom she was going to go to next. I thought we would have had the announcement by now…

    • HaroldNMaudeDib

      At this point I would not give KK the benefit of the doubt on anything.

    • noahwayne0

      I’m not going to give Kennedy that much credit. If she had so much foresight, why has she been having all these issues with directors she selected? Somethings should have been sorted out ahead of time.

  • Rodan J Copilot

    If they do go with Rian and don’t delay the production start 3-6 months, then they have to let him opt out of publicity for TLJ. It would be a mistake to go with Rian on back to back movies without allowing him to recharge and refocus on the next story. Opting out of promoting the pic would be a good start.

    I think there is a good chance that Disney will keep the December release date for the Star Wars films, moving Han and IX back to December. I get the financial reason why they want to have Star Wars be their Mem Day Weekend tentpole, but it looks like everything is pushing against that.

  • Moby85

    The problem here is what is Lucasfilm’s plan? They’re burning daylight now and you would have assumed, as was the case with Ron Howard, that a director would be waiting in the wings to take over after this most sarcastic of “mutual parting of ways”. But we haven’t heard anything firm yet.

    I do like the term Jammer used: “puppeted”. Too many directors for Star Wars films have now been puppeted, heck Marquand was puppeted by George Lucas himself for Return of the Jedi. What doesn’t make sense is it seems Kathleen Kennedy wants to hire young, hip, “avant guarde” directors – and then have them do nothing but play it conservative and tow the party line.

    Look, if you want directors to come and fulfill your vision, they’re a lot of JJ’s and Ron Howards out there. But don’t have this diametrically opposed philosophy of pushing the envelope directorially, while making sure the envelope isn’t pushed.

    • noahwayne0

      Its just for show. I think she wanted to keep up an appearance of being edgy and not corporate, hence the young, hip directors – but its clearly a farce.

      They just want to churn out nostalgia, fan service pieces to make as much money as possible. I would not be shocked if like TFA/Episode IV, the Last Jedi closely resembles/flat out copies Empire.

    • Victor Roa

      “Burning Daylight” is probably the best analogy because the rumors of Trevorrow was they had 3 writers helping him and they got nothing. And Book of Henry came out in June, maybe they have been working with Trevorrow for months before and still NOTHING….. Neil Gaiman mentioned his script to Beowulf was basically a long week of binge drinking by a pool in a hotel, FILM MAKING!!!

  • Fallout Boy!

    If Luke is cucked for fembot Mary Sue and Emo Vader and a 3rd Death Star then who cares…

  • Victor Roa

    even if it’s a rumor, it’s the biggest NO BRAINER move.

  • lordquas

    I’m on board with Rian Johnson to direct episode 9.

  • ScreamFace

    Isn’t Ep 9 meant to come out only a year and a half after ep 8? That’s close and given all the issues, one would not be surprised if they just delayed it back to the 2 year gap. As audiences, we don’t lost anything.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.