Rian Johnson is waiting for Episode IX (almost) just like everyone else

Rian Johnson, at CinemaCon for his next film, Knives Out, talked Star Wars briefly with MTV’s Josh Horowitz. He does admit he’s gotten the chance to talk with IX director J.J. Abrams a few times, but says that overall he’s just happy to be in the audience for this round.

(Of course he knows a lot more than any of us, but hey.)

He also taked about “chugging away” at his next Star Wars film and talked around the latest Benioff and Weiss rumor.

Rumor: Are Benioff and Weiss heading to the Old Republic?

We’ve heard unverified rumblings before that the first of the non-saga Star Wars films from Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would come out before Rian Johnson’s, but today we have a time frame from Star Wars News Net: It’s up after IX, with filming to begin in the fall.

They – or rather, their source, who they say has “worked on every Star Wars film since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm” – also claim that the films will be set in the Old Republic era, which will perhaps be most familiar as the Legends (i.e. currently noncanon) video game Knights of the Old Republic and various spinoffs, which include the still-active MMO The Old Republic.

If Lucasfilm’s aim is indeed to “appeal to a more Game of Thrones style audience.”, the still somewhat controversial pick (a couple of not-in-the-books rape plots on Game of Thrones, and that whole Confederate thing) of Benioff and Weiss suddenly does make a lot more sense.

To be honest, this whole thing reads to me like a repackaging of earlier (and even shakier) rumors and fan theories/wishful thinking, so I can’t put a lot of faith in it. (If you’re curious, the first KOTOR-centric movie “rumor” dates back to early 2013.) But as little as it appeals to me, there’s no doubt that the Knights of the Old Republic games and their offshoots are beloved by many fans. It’s hardly inconceivable that Lucasfilm might want to take a whack at them in canon. But, as always, I’m skeptical.

Consider that we still know next to nothing about anything happening past Episode IX, which could change at Celebration. For the moment, let’s just hope this rumor doesn’t lead to another round of “Rian got fired” from the angry bros and their short attention spans.

Rumor: A Star Wars spinoff has been shelved, but it’s not one we’d heard of

In another wrinkle to yesterday’s big report that standalone films are being put on hold, Jason over at Making Star Wars says it was only one film – and it wasn’t something fans have heard about yet.

The genesis of the earlier report was prompted by studio space being canceled for a film based around the denizens of Mos Eisley, Jason says. I could also note that a Mos Eisley story could involve Boba Fett, but that’s probably my bias speaking, as Jason says both the Obi-wan and Fett films are likely safe.

Meanwhile, Lucasfilm sources tell ABC that “multiple” films are still in development and that yesterday’s report is “inaccurate”, though they naturally decline to share any details about the (unannounced) projects in question.

A more interesting nugget is that up sometime after Episode IX will be a film from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, which “be a little more grown up”, while Rian Johnson’s trilogy will be later, and more “all ages”. The timing is certainly something I find far more interesting here, but the tone concepts are more than we had before.

My own thoughts on this is that I wouldn’t expect a hard-R Star Wars film (though who can say), but perhaps PG-13 more along the lines of Revenge of the Sith, with Rian Johnson aiming for a more traditional PG or a softer PG-13 along the lines of what we’ve seen in the new trilogy so far.

Rumor: Star Wars spinoffs “on hold”?

Collider reports today that future “A Star Wars Story” spinoff films that were in the works at Lucasfilm have been put “on hold.” Films focusing on Obi-Wan and Boba Fett have been rumored, but not yet officially annouced or confirmed in any way by Lucasfilm. (Meaning that, short of actually announcing one of the films, we’re unlikely to get any confirmation or denial of this report any time soon.)

This seems a rather dramatic move after Solo’s underperformance at the box office, but none of the former “Anthology” films have gone smoothly behind the scenes – Rogue One’s production issues, Josh Trank’s departure from what was reportedly the first version of a Fett film, and Solo‘s surprising director swap.

Lucasfilm is instead choosing to focus on Episode IX and other projects, like the trilogy from The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson and a “series” from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, which are unaffected by this decision. No timeline has been given for either set of films.

Lucasfilm calls up… The Game of Thrones guys?

No, not George R.R. Martin. (He has enough on his plate.)

Today’s big out of left field Star Wars announcement is that Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will “will write and produce” a new series of Star Wars films. The new films won’t be saga films, and they’re also separate from Rian Johnson’s trilogy.

“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.”

I am… More skeptical than usual about this one. I do enjoy Game of Thrones, but there’s plenty that Benioff and Weiss have done with the series that I’m less than gung-ho on. This feels like a very Trevorrowesque decision (more “edgy” white dudes?), and we all know how that turned out… Well, at least there (probably) won’t be any sexposition scenes, but more troubling is that these are dudes who seem to think that Confederate is a good idea.

In a Disney earnings call, CEO Bob Iger says the pair are “focused on a point in time in the Star Wars mythology and taking it from there.”

This does, however, seem to give us a more complete picture of Lucasfilm’s post-Episode IX plans. While I have no doubt we have not see the end of the saga films, a standalone “trilogy” and “series” seems like a good start to fill in a nice big gap… Like perhaps a decade or so?