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Rian Johnson chimes in on Star Wars trilogy timeline: Lucasfilm ‘still figuring out their schedule’

By Benjamin Bullard
Last Jedi Rian Johnson

With all the Disney-based news that’s sped across the galaxy over the summer, the Lucasfilm corner of the Disney franchise juggernaut has remained mostly focused on the nearest Star Wars milestones — this winter’s release of The Rise of Skywalker, and the even sooner debut of The Mandalorian at Disney+.

But looking farther ahead, cloudy is the future (to quote a wizened Jedi Master). While we know about what Lucasfilm is planning, we still don’t have a clear idea of when the post-Skywalker phase of the Star Wars universe will take aim at movie theaters. Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi and leader of one of two multi-picture Star Wars film projects in the works, recently weighed in on how his movie timeline is shaping up, and it sounds as though a Johnson-directed trilogy could still be — at least in the eyes of eager fans — far, far away.

“The truth is they’re [Disney and Lucasfilm] still figuring out their schedule, their game plan, so if it’s possible for me to squeeze in another film before or while working on that, I will,” Johnson told the Evening Standard. While that’s far from a definitive forecast for when his trilogy will get underway, it does suggest that fans who hoped that Knives Out (Johnson’s quirky black comedy that hits theaters this Thanksgiving) would be his final pre-Star Wars pit stop may instead have to watch as Johnson considers another movie or more, as the calendar slips by.

Johnson at least is having fun maintaining some connection to Star Wars, even as he awaits Lucasfilm’s next planning move. Yoda voice actor Frank Oz has a small role in Knives Out, giving rise to a tie-in that almost slipped by Johnson before he realized, on having it pointed out to him, that he’s stealthily still playing in the Star Wars sandbox. “You’re right. Technically, this is a Star Wars crossover!” he joked to the Standard.

While we wait to see what Lucasfilm will announce for both Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy, as well as the separate Star Wars project that may be long in the making, now that helmers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have taken on a mammoth Netflix creative deal, at least we won’t be left out in the Hoth-like cold: Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on Dec. 20, and Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian debuts at Disney+ on Nov. 12. After that, Disney should be well on its way with Ewan McGregor's upcoming Obi-Wan series for Disney+, which is set to begin filming sometime next year.