The Ninjabot

Rian Johnson to Write and Direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII and Write Treatment for EPISODE IX

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm by David "Snackbar" Edmundson


Well here’s some unexpected and awesome news.  According to Deadline, Rian Johnson will write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII, and The Wrap reports that he write a treatment for Star Wars: Episode IX.  Johnson is best known for his films—Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper.  This is the big break his fans have been hoping for, and it doesn’t get bigger than Star Wars.  The fact that he gets Episode VIII and gets to have input on Episode IX is not only gravy, but it’s also a smart move on the part of Disney and Lucasfilm

Deadline reports that Johnson will “get started quickly and this will be his preoccupation for quite awhile.”  While Deadline reported that Johnson would be directing both Episode VIII and IXThe Wrap says he’ll only be writing the treatment on Episode IX.  Variety confirms that Johnson is on board to write and direct Episode VIII.

So what doers all of this mean? I think most of us assumed that Abrams would direct the entire trilogy, but this could mean a rian-johnson-looper-600x451million things. Here is what I think might happen. Star Wars: Episode VII will serve as a send off for the Original Trilogy characters while laying the ground work for the new cast. If this is the case Star Wars: Episode VII could be the longest and best examples of fan service while attempting to wash the bad taste of the prequels out of our mouths. I am completely fine with this scenario, and welcome a new cast of characters to the Galaxy Far Far Away.

Assuming my predictions are in the right ballpark, it makes sense to give the final two movies over to a single filmmaker who can both write and direct.  The pre-production on Episode VII hit a speed bump when Abrams decided to throw out Michael Arndt’s script and write a new one with Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back).  This isn’t to say that it will all be smooth sailing for Johnson, but having the writer and director on Episode VIII be the same person might help prevent unexpected rewrites.  Furthermore, having Johnson provide the treatment for Episode IX will give some sense of continuity.

Again, I can’t overstate how happy I am that Johnson is getting to do Star Wars. I have been very vocal of my concerns for Abram’s non-creative, rehash, and take credit style of film making, and am excited to see what Johnson can do for the franchise.

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