Writer and director of The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has done a great job, and Lucasfilm is now giving him the keys to their kingdom and is him to write and direct a new Star Wars trilogy. We do not know much about the project, but Lucasfilm has recently confirmed that it will not continue the Skywalker Saga. Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy has referred to the trilogy as a “blank canvas.” This suggests that it is set in a time that we have never explored before.
But is this all that we can say about Rian Johnson’s trilogy? Or is it possible The Last Jedi and the novels building up to the movie are dropping many hints to the direction Johnson will take?
What Makes ‘The Last Jedi’ Unique
From the beginning, fans have known that The Last Jedi will be a unique movie. The central premise is that Luke Skywalker has headed to Ahch-To, the first Jedi Temple. There, he has learned many secrets of the Force that the galaxy had forgotten. He looked beyond the millennia of Jedi teachings and discovered the ancient truths that the Jedi had maybe buried. It has brought Luke to a very disturbing place, where he believes that it is time for the Jedi Order to end.
The first trailer had teased the nature of the ancient teachings. It had revealed a book that seems to be the fabled Journal of the Whills. When George Lucas had first created Star Wars, he had imagined the tale told through eyes of an all-seeing race known as the Whills.
“Originally, I was trying to have the story be told by somebody else; there was somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody wiser than the mortal players in actual events. I eventually dropped this idea, and the concepts behind the Whills turned into the Force. But the Whills became part of this massive amount of notes, quotes, background information that I used for the scripts; the stories were taken from the ‘Journal of the Whills.‘”
Rogue One had taken the fans by surprise when it had revealed the Guardians of the Whills, an ancient order that was associated with the omniscient aliens. We all know the ancient prophecy of the Chosen One and the idea of balance in the Force, are very much associated with the Whills. Mark Hamill has revealed that the Chosen One prophecy is back in play in the upcoming movie.
Why Does This Matter?
This means that Rian Johnson is toying a lot with the ideas that have not been explored in the Star Wars franchise before. He is dropping hints at the ancient history of the Jedi Order and maybe even breaking the classic light/dark dichotomy.
If you have been following the Star Wars franchise over the last few years, you will have noticed that Lucasfilm like to thread a building narrative through the projects. The last year has seen Lucasfilm explore the variety of Force traditions, with Greg Rucka’s Guardians of the Whills exposing us to Force groups and holy texts. Ken Liu’s The Legends of Luke Skywalker had dropped hints as to the nature of Luke’s Force-quest between the Return of the Jedi and the trilogy.
It is clear that Lucasfilm wants to explore the nature of the Force, with this concept coming to a head in Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Given that Johnson had written the movie’s script, it is likely that he had significant input into shaping the revelations. Given that Lucasfilm tends to follow a narrative thread that runs through the different time-periods, it seems possible that Johnson has been permitted to expand on The Last Jedi’s Force-related discoveries.
If this is the case, we must expect Rian Johnson’s new trilogy to be set in our beloved galaxy’s distant past. Very little has been set in stone and Johnson has the freedom to craft the shape and form of the galaxy far, far away.