Disney and Lucasfilm recently said that they're planning the next 10 years of Star Wars stories, and they weren't kidding. The studio has just announced that Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is writing and directing Star Wars 10, developing it as the first movie in a new Star Wars trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away. He's set to write and direct the first movie in this new trilogy, which is a huge deal. But the question now becomes, what's this new Star Wars trilogy about?

As one might expect, Lucasfilm is being pretty quiet on the details right now. We do know that Rian Johnson will develop the new trilogy with producer Ram Bergman, whom he's collaborated with frequently in the past. What we know for sure is this new trilogy will be "separate from the episodic Skywalker saga," which is very telling. It was also said that the new trilogy will "introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored."

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With that criteria in place, the door is wide open for Rian Johnson on this one. What that means for sure is that legacy characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are off the table. This new Star Wars trilogy will be something entirely different, which is something many fans have been aching for ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm. Recently, Kathleen Kennedy said that the next 10 years of Star Wars was being planned and her statement may give us an idea of what to expect.

"We're sitting down now, we're talking about the next 10 years of Star Wars stories, and we're looking at, narratively, where that might go. Future stories beyond Episode IX with these new characters: Rey, Poe, Finn, BB-8, but we're also looking at working with people that are interested in coming into the Star Wars world and taking us places we haven't been yet. That's exciting, too, because it's a vast galaxy far, far away."

Indeed, the galaxy is vast. So while characters like Rey, Poe Finn and BB-8 aren't off the table, as they haven't been revealed to be Skywalkers (at least not yet), it doesn't sound like they'll be the subject of this new Star Wars trilogy. The announcement states that these movies will look at a corner of the Star Wars galaxy that the lore has never explored, but that's where things could get a little muddy.

In the expanded universe, which was reset when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, tons of various points in time and characters have been explored in the Star Wars galaxy. So, does this mean that it will explore new lore within the movie universe? Or the overall Star Wars universe, including the expanded universe? If we're to assume this statement is limited to the movies, then there's one very excellent area for Rian Johnson to explore: The Old Republic.

For those who may not be familiar, The Old Republic refers to a period in the Star Wars universe thousands of years before the events of the movies. It's been explored in video games, novels and comic books, but hasn't officially been brought into the new canon by Disney and Lucasfilm. The Old Republic is something fans have been dying to see on the big screen, and it absolutely meets the requirement of not having to do with the Skywalker saga. If Rian Johnson's new trilogy is even vaguely related to anything Star Wars fans are familiar with, The Old Republic seems like the safest bet. Granted, that's a massive area to explore and still leaves a lot of questions to be answered, even if that is the direction this new trilogy goes.

That's pure speculation, at least for now. At the moment, it's really hard to know where this new Star Wars trilogy will take us. In fact, there's a good chance it will be something totally new that we can't possibly imagine. And we're not likely to hear much about it, at least not in terms of firm details, until Star Wars: Episode IX wraps up. In any case, this is truly exciting news for Star Wars fans and could mean we're going to get some truly original stories in the Star Wars universe. It also bodes well for the quality of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which arrives in theaters on December 15.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott