I think we can safely say that a majority of audiences and critics are happy that Rian Johnson is now an established voice within the Star Wars universe. While The Last Jedi has had some detractors with the fan community, it has landed an impressive Cinemascore of A, which seems to be a giant contrast to audience aggregators that have been obviously tampered with by a group of unhappy fans.
Like it or lump it, Rian is moving forward with his brand new trilogy and will likely have plenty of time to map things out. Our best-educated estimates place production unlikely to begin until sometime in 2020. As we have Episode IX filming in June 2018, in 2019 Lucasfilm looks to focus on Indiana Jones 5 and possibly their Kenboi movie.
Giving Rian and his creative team around two years to figure out a script and crafting the look for the first film along with possible outlines for the two sequels. Unless Rian plans on writing them one by one during the hiatus period. The obvious assumption is that a December 2021 release date is likely where the untitled first installment could possibly land.
We know that Johnson expects to direct the first one but it’s up-in-the-air if he’ll hand off the sequels to other directors. Rian has stated to the BBC he’d like to see female directors and directors of color participate in Star Wars. Johnson would be in a unique position having control as a producer and creative lead to push for this with his movies.
“Hell yes, it’s time,” he responded. “There are so many incredibly talented female directors, directors of color out there, and so many that I would love to see play in this universe.”
We have some ideas of who should tackle these sequels.
Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has informally offered Thor Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi a job.
Ava Duvernay (seems open to the idea) has also been mentioned in the past as a hopeful candidate and is already loosely connected when she gave some advice to J.J. Abrams during reshoots on The Force Awakens.
ABRAMS: “One of [the suggestions] was she really wanted to see Daisy, in her attack on Ren, have one really cool moment.” Abrams said that, as Rey and Kylo Ren come face to face during their combat, he added an extra shot. “We take this moment of hearing the Force and thinking about what Maz [Maz Kanata, played by Lupita Nyong’o] had told her about closing her eyes and letting it in. And so she has this incredibly internal moment that is extended in movie time where she basically feels it, accepts it, and is now ready to kick his ass.”
Abrams also suggested her as a perfect candidate to direct a Star Wars movie while chatting with Nerdist.
“To me, the knee-jerk reaction if I had to [name someone] is Ava DuVernay,” he said. “She is as much a fan of genre movies … and hearing her talk about not just Star Wars but hearing her talk about those kinds of films is evidence that she would just kill it.”.
Ryan Coogler seems to be a good fit as well, although, he hasn’t been given the proper attention from what looks to be stellar work on Marvel’s Black Panther. I think a lot of fans get the feeling there is some Star Wars level world-building going on with Coogler’s Wakanda.
Whatever happens here we’re hopeful that Rian will steer this ship in the right direction.