Rian Johnson, best known for Looper starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, has agreed to write and direct Episode VIII according to Deadline. He has also agreed to provide some level of writing support for the final film in the new trilogy, Episode IX, though that role does not seem to be clearly defined as of yet.
Johnson is well respected among the film industry. His indie film Brick was critically acclaimed and award winning. He directed three episodes of Breaking Bad. He is often considered one of the bright young writers and directors in Hollywood.
Star Wars was already in unprecedented waters for the beloved franchise. Disney would be bringing the stories of Jedi and the force to fans in movie theaters without the voice of creator George Lucas for the first time. The unsteadiness of the future of the saga falls into the hands of J.J. Abrams for the first installment. Now, in further deviation, the trilogy will not even be under the control of the same person throughout. Abrams will get the new trilogy started but Johnson’s voice will be the prominent one for the payoff of the story.
The talent associated with the film is undeniably great. The writers and directors are the cream of the current film-making crop. No doubt, Disney is bringing in the best hired guns they can find to tell the latest story of Skywalkers, Solos, Wookies and more.
The question still remains: will the shift in writers have an impact on the continuity of the story? Will Abrams and Johnson share a vision that will allow fans to remain engaged and not be distracted by a shift in focus?
There are a lot of questions surrounding the new Star Wars trilogy. That is without delving into the spin-off films, cartoons and other projects that are currently being worked on at Disney.
Here’s hoping that the force will remain strong in everyone involved.
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