Star Wars is one of, if not the most high-pressure franchises to work on in Hollywood. Its fans are unlike any other in the world, leading to pressures and expectations unlike any other, given that the property is one of the most unique of all time. It’s no surprise, then, to learn that making these movies is quite a daunting task, and not everyone is up for the rigors of the job. Director Colin Trevorrow’s exit from Star Wars: Episode IX, which comes on the heels of Phil Lord and Chris Miller being fired from the Han Solo solo movie, is the latest example of this.
In both cases, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy’s relationships with the filmmakers became strained and unmanageable which resulted in them heading off into the sunset. While this directorial turbulence is obviously a matter of concern for fans, the more pressing matter is the question of who takes the final part of this trilogy forward.
J.J. Abrams launched things with The Force Awakens, and he had a pretty good relationship with everyone involved, from Lucasfilm to Disney, so it’s clear that Kennedy can play ball with certain filmmakers. One of these is clearly Rian Johnson, the man who’s bringing The Last Jedi to theaters in December, and whose name has been tossed into the ring once more for Episode IX. Given his rapport with the powers-that-be, and experience in the Star Wars universe, Johnson should be hired as he’s perfectly placed to pull double duty and wrap the trilogy.
He brings a lot to the table, apart from just being a familiar face and his obvious fanboy-ism. In terms of the direction of the overall franchise, he knows exactly where it’s heading. He actually worked on the script for Episode IX before Trevorrow and his writing partner Derek Connolly came on board. It should be relatively simple, then, for Johnson to help recalibrate the “script issues” that reportedly drove a wedge between Trevorrow and Kennedy.
He also worked very closely with Trevorrow to bridge the two films, so he has insider information on how to steer the continuity and keep it on track with what Lucasfilm has in mind. His re-appointment as Episode IX‘s director would also ensure a smooth flow between these two movies, which is as important as anything considering the level of anticipation fans have for them.
This cohesiveness would be ideal, as Johnson’s the man who’s not only giving Luke Skywalker his first dialogue in these new movies — he’s also rolling out major plot points such as Luke’s apparently bitter outlook on the Jedi, Rey’s tutelage, and how the relationship of Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren evolves. If The Force Awakens sowed these seeds, The Last Jedi will be the plants bursting from the ground, and Episode IX will see the garden come to full bloom.
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