The Star Wars galaxy was recently dealt another pretty significant setback with Lucasfilm and director Colin Trevorrow parting ways, meaning that Star Wars 9 is still in need of a director. Many quickly pointed to Rian Johnson, who directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which seems to have gone very smoothly. While he may seem like a logical and likely solid choice for the gig, he has taken himself out of the running. At least for now.
As reported by Star Wars Underworld, Rian Johnson has been doing some press for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Japan recently. While speaking at an event, he was asked about the situation with Star Wars 9 and whether or not he is going to direct it. He didn't plainly say "no," but he makes it clear that, at the moment, he isn't doing it and he doesn't seem to have any plans to do the movie. Here's what he had to say about it.
"It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode 9, so I don't know what's going to happen with it...for me, I was entirely focused on Episode 8 and having this experience. Now I'm just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. 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."
Star Wars 9 is set to be released on December 15, so Rian Johnson's work on the movie is nearly done. However, he still has a massive press tour to deal with and that will take him right up to the release of the movie. Considering that Star Wars: Episode IX was originally scheduled to shoot in January, that wouldn't give him a whole lot of time to prep the shoot. Not only that, but jumping right into the next installment of the Skywalker saga like that would be truly exhausting.
On the other hand, Lucasfilm needs to find a director who will stick around and work out. They have had a lot of trouble with directors since Disney took over a galaxy far, far away in 2012. Recently, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the young Han Solo movie just weeks before shooting was scheduled to finish. Now we have Colin Trevorrow's departure from Star Wars 9. Not to mention the departure of Josh Trank from the short-lived Boba Fett movie, which never really got off the ground. At the moment, Rian Johnson is one of the only directors who hasn't had issues with Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm. Even Gareth Edwards had to do massive reshoots on Rogue One with Tony Gilroy coming in to help out.
Even if it isn't Rian Johnson, Lucasfilm needs to get it right when it comes to the new director for Star Wars 9. Maybe they can get J.J. Abrams to come back? He did a fine job with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In any case, for now, Johnson isn't going to be the man to step in and save the day. Then again, Lucasfilm could still persuade him. You can check out the full video interview with Rian Johnson for yourself below.