Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson to create new Star Wars trilogy

The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson to create new Star Wars trilogy

Since acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney has upped the focus on the money-generating Star Wars franchise. and it looks like that's not stopping anytime soon.

"We can't wait to continue with this new series of films".

Disney has chosen The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson to head development of an all-new Star Wars trilogy.

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"We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi", said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. The current saga trilogy will wrap up on December 20, 2019 with the as-yet-untitled Episode IX, helmed by The Force Awakens director, J.J. Abrams.

The force of "Star Wars" lifted Walt Disney Co shares as the promise of a new film trilogy overshadowed disappointing quarterly results and struggles at the media company's television business. If your anticipation for The Last Jedi wasn't already at a fever pitch, the confirmation the studio is making Johnson the custodian of Star Wars' future is all you needed to hear.

The first film will be written and directed by Johnson and though he may then turn over the reigns to someone new, he will still be there to shepherd the new trilogy as it progresses. While the films will fall under the "Star Wars" umbrella, they will have brand new characters and be set within a separate galaxy - one which has never been explored before.

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The plans, revealed on an earnings conference call Thursday, are welcome news not only to fans but to Disney investors, who have enjoyed the profits from Disney's movie division, and to theater chains, which could use a few more guaranteed hits on their screens.

The Force Awakens generated more than US$2 billion (S$2.72 billion) in worldwide box office revenue.

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