Disney preps new Rian Johnson-helmed Star Wars trilogy, new live-action series

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We’re almost two movies into the third trilogy of the Star Wars saga but Disney is already gearing up for the next three films — and we don’t mean the stand-alone ones.

Disney has chosen The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson to head development of an all-new Star Wars trilogy. Johnson will be writing and directing the first installment as well. If you were wondering why he wasn’t handling Episode IX after Colin Trevorrow left the picture, this very well be the reason.

Exactly where and when in the greater Star Wars universe these movies will take place remains to be seen, but according to StarWars.com, it will take place separate from the Skywalker drama of Episodes I through IX, with its own cast of characters and story, reportedly from a part of the galaxy that hasn’t been touched upon in any of the films yet. What exactly that means remains to be seen — according to reports, the deal has only just been signed. There is also currently no release date for the new trilogy’s first entry.

While The Last Jedi is still a few weeks away, the deal is a good sign that Disney is happy with Johnson’s work on Episode VIII. Going from writing and directing a single entry in the franchise to being in charge of an entire trilogy is quite the show of faith.

In addition to the new trilogy news, it was also reported that a new, live-action Star Wars TV series is in development. This new series will be exclusive to Disney’s upcoming streaming service. The streaming service (or services) is currently expected to launch sometime in 2019, but there is no word yet on when the TV series is expected to debut, let alone plot details.

These announcements add to the heaps of Star Wars content on the horizon. Fans won’t have to wait long to see Johnson’s take on the universe, as The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 16. Following that, Solo: A Star Wars Storywhich was directed by Ron Howard and stars Alden Ehrenreich, is a stand-alone movie that will tell the story of a young Han Solo and will debut May 25, 2018. 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.