Rian Johnson Tapped to Direct 'Star Wars Episode VIII'

Rian Johnson Star Wars

The Star Wars news just keeps rolling in. While we already know that both Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank have been tapped for two of the new spin-offs in the universe, and that J.J. Abrams is directing the highly anticipated Star Wars Episode VII. But with the ambitious plan to have a new trilogy film every other year, it was only a matter of time before we learned who the director for Star Wars Episode VIII was going to be. While many, myself included, believed that J.J. Abrams would be directing the entire trilogy, it now seems that will not be the case, as director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) has just signed on to write and direct the eighth film in the ever expanding Star Wars saga.

Deadline broke the news about Johnson’s involvement in the film. But it doesn’t appear that’s where his work will stop, as he writes and directs the next film, as he will also be writing the treatment for Star Wars Episode IX as well, according to The Wrap. Johnson’s involvement is an incredibly exciting turn of events, and also proves something I’ve been noticing for a long time now, that Lucasfilm is really looking to get some of the most creative minds in Hollywood to join the series and bring their visions to life. Johnson is one of my favorite directors, and he’s got a very specific vision and style that will really lend itself well to the Star Wars universe, and it’s going to be great to see what he does here.

It’s even better to hear that he will also be writing the treatment for Episode IX, because it means there will be some sort of cohesion between the last two films in the trilogy. It’ll be interesting to see if Abrams is also involved in these last two films as well, but if he isn’t, it’s not a deal breaker, because it’s really Kathleen Kennedy who is spearheading the new series. As long as she’s involved, the series will be in great hands, but letting Johnson script out the final two stories will give the films a familiar voice, and really brings them together.

While Lucasfilm has yet to confirm the news yet, Johnson did on his twitter with this:

It’s really great to see Lucasfilm getting such talented filmmakers and giving them a chance to shine in the Star Wars universe now. This is a vast and open universe that really needs to be explored, and giving these different directors the freedom and opportunity to do it speaks volumes of what they’re hoping for. So far, all these directors have all made very character driven films, much like the original trilogy, and they’ll fit into the grand Star Wars universe. The only question I have now about Johnson’s involvement is does this mean Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be joining the Star Wars universe, because they’ve continually worked together over the years. Here’s to hoping!

Are you excited by Johnson’s involvement in Star Wars Episode VIII and Star Wars Episode IX? Sound off in the usual place!

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Film/TV Pundit. Creator/Host of Reel Film Chatter. Full time geek who loves movies, tv, corgis, baseball, & pasta.