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Star Wars 8 Wasn’t Mapped Out When Last Jedi Director Came Aboard

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With just over six months left until Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters, fans have been eager for any new details about this Star Wars adventure, no matter how trivial they may be. Over the holiday weekend, director Rian Johnson took to social media to engage with a fan, who was curious about how much of the overall story for this new trilogy had been worked out by Kathleen Kennedy and her LucasFilm team, before he came aboard to both write and direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As it turns out, the filmmaker had to essentially start from scratch, since they had nothing worked out ahead of time, aside from what happens in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The director took to Twitter yesterday, after he revealed in his Vanity Fair interview from last week that he was given a great deal of creative freedom in crafting The Last Jedi story. This fan was wondering how much of the story had been mapped out, before the filmmaker had signed on to direct, back in June 2014, pointing to an interview with Kathleen Kennedy, where she teased that they were plotting out the structure to the whole trilogy in advance. As it turns out, there was nothing concrete for either Star Wars: The Last Jedi or Star Wars IX when Rian Johnson came aboard. Here’s what the filmmaker had to say on Twitter below.

“I’m sure they talked about where it might go early on, but when they came to me there was no mapped story presented beyond TFA.”

You may recall that the first report of Rian Johnson coming aboard in June 2014 was to write and direct both Star Wars 8 and 9, but it was eventually confirmed that he was only writing and directing Star Wars 8. Colin Trevorrow was later confirmed to write and direct Star Wars: Episode IX, which will be released on May 24, 2019. After Star Wars 8, LucasFilm will release Han Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25, 2018, which brings back the LucasFilm tradition of releasing Star Wars movies in May, followed by Star Wars 9 and a third Star Wars spin-off reportedly coming in 2020, which has been rumored to focus on Obi-Wan Kenobi or Boba Fett.

While the story may not have been mapped out in advance, there is still very little we know about what happens in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The first Star Wars 8 trailer released at Star Wars Celebration in April teased that Rey has started her Jedi training with Luke Skywalker, after find the Jedi knight on Ahch-To at the very end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There have been rumors that Rey’s story will mirror Luke’s from Empire Strikes Back, with Rey abandoning her training to save her friends Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), who have been rumored to be captured by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) as part of a trap to lure Rey out of hiding.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will hit theaters on December 15, going up against 20th Century Fox’s animated comedy Ferdinand. We finally learned more about a few of the new cast members last week, with Benicio del Toro portraying a character known as DJ, described as a “shady character” whose allegiances are unclear. Director Rian Johnson teased there is a good reason he is known as DJ, which fans will discover in the movie. That report also revealed that another new cast member, Laura Dern, will be playing Vice Admiral Holdo, who is said to be a prominent member of The Resistance. Take a look at director Rian Johnson’s tweet about Star Wars: The Last Jedi below.

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