Yesterday we learned that Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is about to helm a trilogy of Star Wars movies unrelated to the Skywalker storyline. We’re agog with excitement. So is the internet. But how does Johnson himself feel?
Johnson took to Twitter and said, “Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi.”
We have no doubt that The Last Jedi will be excellent. This is about as enthusiastic a review for the film as we’ll ever get: Obviously Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president and decision maker, has ample confidence in Johnson, enough to give him the keys to the galaxy. Literally.
We also have no doubt that if The Last Jedi underperforms, Johnson could absolutely be replaced. After all, Lucasfilm had no problems canning directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller four months into production when the studio didn't like the duo directors' creative vision.
Still, we have nothing but high hopes for The Last Jedi. Even though we haven't seen it, yet, we have seen Looper, a time-travel film with mordant wit. More importantly, we’ve seen Brick, a film noir set in a California high school. It has the same clean lines and smoky edges as The Maltese Falcon. It was astonishingly good, and even better on a second viewing. So Johnson certainly has the range for a franchise this big.
In addition to the announcement of the new trilogy, Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call to investors that Star Wars will also get a live-action series. There was no news about the upcoming showrunner or even the plot. The only thing we do know? The showrunner likely won't be Johnson. Obviously, he’ll be busy.
Disney and Lucasfilm are not gambling with the property when they release a non-series Star Wars film, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story earned $1 billion. However, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which furthered the Skywalker saga, earned a whopping $2 billion. So, yeah. There's a high bar, and an astronomically high bar.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on December 15, 2017. Yoda knows how much it will earn.