At The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day event on December 10, Lucasfilm shared a deluge of news with Star Wars fans at hyperdrive speed.
In addition to announcing “roughly ten” new Disney+ series — capitalizing off of the success of Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s The Mandalorian — Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy shared that the next Star Wars feature film will see its theatrical release in 2023 and will be directed by none other than Patty Jenkins (I Am the Night, Wonder Woman 1984).
Following the announcement, Jenkins shared some details about the upcoming movie, saying:
“We’re very far into the — we’re finishing the treatment basically, which is pretty big. So it ends up being like where you’re fairly close to a well-along screenplay by the time I’m done with the treatment in my process. So yeah, we’ve been working on it for awhile. It’s going great. I’m super excited about it. I’m super excited about the story.”
She also noted that she wanted her screenwriter to “have his own proper announcement, so I’m going to wait until that comes out.”
From these vague details, we can surmise that the script writer for the next Star Wars movie is a man — and that Lucasfilm deigned to not share who he is at Investor Day. Clearly, if the screenplay is nearly complete, Kennedy and other executives could have simply made the announcement when they shared Patty Jenkins’s involvement in the project.
One potential reason for not sharing the screenwriter’s name is that it might be Rian Johnson. As we recently reported, the fact that Johnson’s name was completely left out of the Star Wars studio’s Investor Day segment indicates that his trilogy — originally announced after the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi in 2017 — has been scrapped.
Or, at the very least, it indicates that Johnson’s next Star Wars movie will look nothing like it was originally intended to. If he is, in fact, the writer behind Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, the latter could prove to be true — it certainly isn’t expected to follow the rumored “broom boy” plot line of his trilogy.
The Last Jedi garnered so much backlash — for a wide variety of reasons, from fans disliking certain characters to loathing the storyline — that it wouldn’t be surprising if Disney and Lucasfilm decided it was best to not bring Johnson’s name up at an event that was meant to get fans excited about the future of Star Wars.
Kennedy even said that the success of The Mandalorian — which offers a pared-down, authentic style of storytelling that is arguably the antithesis of the convoluted nature of The Last Jedi — had ushered in a “new era of Star Wars and there’s more to come.”
Bringing up Johnson? Not exactly the leap forward most Star Wars fans are hoping for.
In spite of the fact that most fans probably wouldn’t be overjoyed with confirmation that Johnson is the next Star Wars movie writer, it actually tracks with what we know about his trilogy — Disney and Lucasfilm never actually said the films were canceled. In fact, the last official update indicated Johnson’s projects were still in the works.
Then, however, everyone at both studios just stopped talking about them. Then, came the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron announcement.
I, too, would be less-than-thrilled if it comes to light that Rian Johnson actually is writing the next feature-length Star Wars movie, but, for now, all we can do is remain hopeful that Patty Jenkins’s directorial skills and influence would be enough to salvage us from another Episode VIII.
As GeekFeed pointed out:
While there are surely some fans who would love to know about Johnson’s return, the toxic side of the fandom has been remarkably relentless (and loud), still complaining about The Last Jedi in 2020 like it came out in the same year.
Bear in mind that nothing has been confirmed by Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Studios, or Patty Jenkins at this time — however, Rian Johnson’s trilogy, although seemingly scrapped, has also not been officially shutdown, leaving everyone in limbo.
What are your thoughts? Could Rian Johnson be writing the Rogue Squadron script?