If the Jedi do truly come to an end in The Last Jedi, the person who crafted that story won’t have any say on what happens next. Despite the fact that Rian Johnson was the director and primary screenwriter on the forthcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he won’t have anything to do with writing Star Wars: Episode IX. But, that’s probably okay.
On Monday, Rian Johnson responded to a fan on Twitter and confirmed that any previous reports about him having input on the Episode IX script are untrue and “old info.” This means whatever changes are made to the galaxy and the story of the Skywalkers in The Last Jedi will have to be addressed by the team tackling Episode IX, including director Colin Trevorrow. On April 21, in an audio interview published by Steele Wars, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy admitted that the death of Carrie Fisher forced the creative team to “start over.”
This shouldn’t be cause for alarm, though. Historically, it’s not insane that a series of Star Wars movies would be written by several different screenwriters. In fact, the ongoing sequel trilogy, which began with The Force Awakens, has more in common with the classic trilogy than the prequel trilogy. All three prequels — The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith — were all written and directed by George Lucas. But, the classic trilogy had three different directors and several screenwriters. Lucas directed A New Hope, but The Empire Strikes Back was directed by Irvin Kershner, and Return of the Jedi was directed by Richard Marquand. So, having several creative cooks in the Star Wars kitchen isn’t necessarily any indication of quality or consistency. Everyone loves The Empire Strikes Back, but Irvin Kershner didn’t have anything to do with Return of the Jedi.
The Last Jedi opens on December 15. Episode IX will be released on May 24, 2019.