Disney excited Star Wars fans by revealing a slew of new, upcoming content for the franchise at the Disney Investor’s Meeting yesterday. Notable Lucasfilm additions to the Star Wars family are the Ahsoka live-action series, Rangers of the New Republic, and the High Republic-era story of The Acolyte. They’re even welcoming back Hayden Christensen. He’ll reprise the role of none other than Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. Notably absent from the announcements, however, was any mention of the once-touted Rian Johnson trilogy of films.
Now, admittedly the major motion picture industry found itself turned sideways due to COVID-19. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Warner Bros. shocked the world by announcing its entire slate of 2021 films was headed straight to HBOMax. And despite originally hoping to stay on track for 2022, Lucasfilm previously announced that its Star Wars feature films wouldn’t return until 2023. The original thought was that 2023 would be the year for Rian Johnson to make his next foray into Star Wars. It is now abundantly clear: he will not be involved with the 2023 release. In fact, there was no mention of his trilogy at yesterday’s event whatsoever.
Star Wars done with Rian Johnson?
In the afternoon’s biggest shocker, Lucasfilm came out of left field to announce that Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) would direct the next feature Star Wars film. She’ll helm Rogue Squadron, a whole new story about the pilots of the Rebel Alliance. You can see a teaser featuring Jenkins at the top of the story, above. Lucasfilm even went so far as to acknowledge the Taika Waititi feature film. Waititi, of course, directed the Season 1 finale of The Mandalorian. He also portrayed IG-11 in the series. So we have a brand new film in Rogue Squadron, and specific mention of the Waititi feature…. But still no Rian Johnson.
Like it or hate it, there is no denying the fact that The Last Jedi caused a monumental rift in the Star Wars fandom. Likewise, depending on what reports you read, it further caused a schism within the franchise. That’s not an easy thing from which to recover. They’re doing it though, and with aplomb, with the universally, highly regard Mandalorian series. With so many new titles coming, and Johnson being attached to none of them…. Our suspicion is that yesterday’s announcements contained a subtle subtext: “We’re done with Rian Johnson.”