The Last Jedi hit theaters three years ago. Even before the second entry in Disney's Star Wars sequel trilogy was announced, the studio revealed that director Rian Johnson was set to create a new trilogy set within a galaxy far, far away. Official updates have been few and far between in the years since. Now, with Disney's massive investor day presentation behind us, it looks as though Rian Johnson's Star Wars trilogy may have been canceled by Disney. Or, at the very least, it appears to be on a distant backburner.
Disney's investor day presentation turned out to be a massive event, showcasing a number of reveals from the studio's biggest franchises. Star Wars included. Not only were several new shows, such as Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic, The Acolyte, Visions and Lando revealed, but new details for Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Bad Batch were also shared. Plus, there was the surprise reveal of a Rogue Squadron movie from Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, which is set to hit theaters in December 2023. Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit, is also developing a new movie within the franchise. And, to top it all off, R2-D2 and C-3PO are set to headline a new animated movie for Disney+ called A Droid Story.
Yet, among all of the news that will carry the Star Wars franchise for at least the next few years, not a word was mentioned about Rian Johnson's Star Wars trilogy. While Disney has not said that the project has been scrapped, things aren't looking particularly good at the moment. For his part, Johnson said in October 2019 that he was still talking to Lucasfilm and that he would be "thrilled if it happens." But the "if" in that statement seemed to be doing more heavy lifting than we may have realized at the time.
If we are to assume the project has been scrapped, the question becomes why? Lucasfilm and Disney seemed fully confident in The Last Jedi ahead of its release. Critics widely praised the movie and it grossed more than $1.3 billion at the box office. On paper, a smashing success. But it also proved to be the most divisive movie in the history of the franchise, intensely dividing fans. Even outside of the small minority of vocal, toxic fans, there is no denying that people have mixed feelings about Episode VIII. It is possible that the response to the movie caused Lucasfilm to hit the pause button on the trilogy.
Few details were ever revealed about the movies. Rian Johnson explained that it would move beyond the legacy characters and explore new territory. Beyond that, much remained mysterious. What we know for sure is that, beyond Rogue Squadron, Disney has release dates set aside for Star Wars movies in December 2025 and December 2027. One of those is undoubtedly going to go to Taika Waititi's movie. That still leaves room for another story. But, for the moment at least, it doesn't seem overly likely that it will be Johnson's story. You can check out all of the recently announced projects over at StarWars.com.