With Colin Trevorrow exiting Episode IX, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson seemed like the most logical choice to take over. But it seems unlikely that Johnson will want to dive into another film in the Star Wars universe, for an understandable reason.

A video posted to Oricon’s YouTube channel on Monday features Johnson speaking at a Japanese press conference, where he discusses the possibility of him directing Episode IX. “It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with it… But for me, I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience and now I’m just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it,” Johnson said. “So no, I’m not really thinking about that right now. Whoever does it, I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again. And to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going.”

This doesn’t completely rule Johnson out as a contender for the director’s chair on Episode IX, but his last comment about viewing the film as a fan suggests he’s not too keen on jumping back in. That could always change once the film’s actually done and in theaters, but for now, there’s still hope that someone other than a white man could finally be tackling a film in a galaxy far, far away.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi will premiere on December 15.

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