Reel Freak

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‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ Will Be Written & Directed by Rian Johnson!

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With a year and a half left until Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters, the swarming masses of fans are itching to know all they can about the movie that director J.J. Abrams has managed to keep so tightly under wraps thus far.  While everyone’s focus has been mainly on the release of Episode VII, Disney and Lucasfilm have managed to throw some big announcements our way over the past few weeks.

The current plan for the studio is to release one Star Wars film per year, starting in 2015 with Episode VII.  2016 will see their first spinoff film, which Godzilla director Gareth Edwards was recently announced to direct.  2017 will most likely bring Episode VIII, and 2018 the second spinoff, set to be helmed by Chronicle director Josh Trank.  After that, we’d only imagine Episode IX will come in 2019, and a third standalone outing in 2020.

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With three directors in Abrams, Edwards & Trank under their belts, Disney & Lucasfilm continue to surprise us with up-and-coming directors.  According to Deadline, it appears that both Episode VIII & Episode IX will be written and directed by Looper director Rian Johnson.

The addition of Johnson definitely goes hand-in-hand with the studios’ search for younger, creative talents.  But the biggest surprise is that he is reported to direct the next TWO core Star Wars films.

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However, there has been a conflicting report from TheWrap that claims Johnson will both write and direct Episode VIII, but only the former for Episode IX.  

Personally, I was hoping to see the new Star Wars trilogy led by three different directors, so hopefully TheWrap is correct in that Johnson will only lead Episode VIII.  It seems right that J.J. Abrams will give fans what they want to see in Episode VII, make his point, and pass the torch to another director (or two).

What do you think?  Is Rian Johnson a good choice to write and direct both Episode VIII and IX?  Stay tuned for more info.

– Josh Sazin, 6/20/14

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