New Star Wars Trilogy Explores Beyond Skywalker Name

9.5
  • Science Fiction
2017-12-15
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The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15th Lucasfilm

To put it bluntly, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s next trilogy set in the Star Wars universe, which will be divorced from the 40-plus year Skywalker saga, is the first bit of news to excite me since Disney bought the rights to the property five years ago. The Skywalker iconography that follows the Star Wars universe can only carry it so far. Eventually, if the franchise is supposed to sustain itself for as long as Kathleen Kennedy would like it to, we’re going to have to be treated to new ideas. Not gimmicks mind you, like Rogue One’s cheap war film with blasters (it wasn’t even that by the way), but wholly new concepts and characters. Thankfully, “new” is what inspired Johnson’s pitch to Kennedy in the first place. He spoke a little about it at The Last Jedi press day to Collider’s Steve Weinstraub:

“We were just generally talking about what could we do and I was like, ‘What would be most interesting to me is…’ and then I just said—it wasn’t even a specific pitch, the pitch was: ‘A new trilogy. Three movies, one story. New characters, new places. Let’s start fresh.’ That was the most exciting thing I could possibly think of and Kathy really responded to that and we’re gonna give it a shot.”

This is what I’ve been waiting for. One of the best things about Star Wars 77 is how massive it feels. Even in the cantina scene early on, you get the sense that there are a million interesting adventures happening right outside the one we happen to be focused on. Instead, we have been treated to the same images and narrative devices since it’s release OVER 40 years ago. Jedis. Empire. Darth Vader. Deathstars. Over and over again. It’s a testament to Lucas’s imagination that these things have yet to become completely stale, but trust me, they will, very soon.

While we haven’t got a film as bad as anything from the prequels since Kennedy stepped in, the trade-off is its risk-averse approach. DIsney has been playing it safe with one of the most innovative properties in cinema history. Even from the choice in director's, innovation doesn’t exactly spring to mind at the mention of names like JJ Abrams and Ron Howard.

Rian Johnson, on the other hand, is a filmmaker that knows how to make good use of a modest budget and inspired visuals. He could be the first inspired choice of this entire venture.

Be sure to check back here for our Last Jedi Review.

 
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