Rian Johnson Will Direct 'Star Wars' Episodes VIII and IX & That's Good News for Nerds

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away... we found out who's directing Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, and it's Rian Johnson. Fellow nerds, this is important news, as it means J.J. Abrams will no longer be at the helm of the re-vamped franchise. It also means that we're getting even older, because this is yet another person to take the directorial baton. And for Johnson, it means he's got a really high-profile challenge ahead of him. He'll be taking over the core franchise of the film (as in, the signature episodes — he's not going to be at the helm of the spin-off movies; Josh Trank will direct one of them).

So, who is this guy? Rian Johnson made his directorial debut with the small independent film Brick. He made the switchover to more mainstream fodder with Looper, which he wrote and directed. Now, he's making an even bigger switchover — from mainstream flicks to ENORMOUS POWERHOUSE FRANCHISES (that must be written in caps because they're so enormous).

Since Star Wars fans are pretty zealously committed to their love of the series, it's likely that only someone who could definitely rise to the occasion would be selected to take on the job.

But until we see what Johnson brings, we can focus on the J. J. Abrams-directed Episode VII, which stars Lupita Nyong'o (!!) and heads into theaters on Dec. 15, 2015.