Disney taps popular Israeli producer to make 3 new 'Star Wars' films
'The Last Jedi' collaborators Ram Bergman and Rian Johnson will deviate from the 'Skywalker' saga to bring fans a trilogy of adventures from an unknown corner of the 'Star Wars' galaxy.
The Hollywood duo behind "The Last Jedi" have just been handed the keys to the future of the "Star Wars" franchise.
American director Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman, a prolific Israeli producer, have been tasked by Disney with creating a whole new "Star Wars" trilogy that, for the first time ever, will take place with characters and locations independent of the episodic Skywalker saga.
“We all loved working with Rian on 'The Last Jedi,'" said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft 'The Last Jedi' from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”
In a statement from Lucasfilm, it was revealed that Johnson will write and direct the first film, with Bergman producing all three.
This vote of confidence in Johnson and Bergman is no small thing and alludes to some very substantial takeaways. The first is that "The Last Jedi," at least through the eyes of those executives lucky enough to have screened it, is everything and possibly more that Kennedy and Disney expected. This alone should make fans throw yet another circle around the film's premiere date of Dec. 15.
The second is perhaps an even greater badge of honor for the pair. Disney takes great pride, as exemplified by its Marvel franchise, in world-building films that are not only great standalone features but also weave together as a kind of interlocking Hollywood tapestry. Despite the "Star Wars" galaxy's easily mined potential for great stories and characters, previous directors such as Americans Colin Trevorrow ("Star Wars: Episode IX") and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller ("Han Solo") have exited over creative differences. The fact that Bergman and Johnson not only clearly enjoy playing in Disney's sandbox, but also deftly navigating all of the expectations and limitations this comes with, is apparently what made the team so attractive to Disney.
“We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on 'The Last Jedi,'” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. "'Star Wars' is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”
In a personal tweet, Johnson joked that he was feeling a bit more pressure over the upcoming premiere for "The Last Jedi."
Naturally, fans have already started speculating over the direction this new trilogy might take. One possible storyline that would be met with wide smiles is "Knights of the Old Republic," an extremely popular comic book series from the 1990s set nearly 4,000 years before the events of "Star Wars: A New Hope." The main thrust of the story involves a Dark Lord of the Sith who, after being wounded mentally and physically in a battle, is captured by the Jedi and reprogrammed to serve as a force for good. As you might expect, this decision doesn't exactly go as planned.
"On a narrative front, the story of a Sith Lord reprogrammed to unwittingly serve as a Jedi Knight and defender of The Republic is definitely a new angle for the movie franchise, offering a much deeper and complex exploration of concepts like good and evil, light and dark," shares Kofi Outlaw for ComicBook. "It's the sort of matured concept that Rian Johnson seems to be exploring in 'The Last Jedi,' and would give a lead actor a great slow-burn character arc to explore."
This odd collection of high society aliens from 'The Last Jedi' will be featured in the 'Star Wars' universe's newest location, the luxurious Canto Bight. In the new trilogy planned for after 'Episode IX,' Johnson and Bergman will have even more creative license to explore uncharted corners of the franchise. (Photo: Vanity Fair)
Whatever corner of the galaxy Bergman and Johnson decide to tackle next, based on early impressions of the characters and worlds he's bringing to life for "Jedi," it's clear that fans of the franchise have years of wild adventures to look forward to. As for when we might expect this new trilogy to exit hyperspace, Disney is keeping those plans under strict Imperial guard.
"No release dates have been set for the new films, and no porgs were available for comment," the studio quipped.
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