We may only be two movies into the current Star Wars trilogy, but the next several movies in the franchise are already in the works. In addition to 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story and another standalone film set to come out a few years after that, it was announced back in November that Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson would helm three more movies in the series, the details of which are currently unknown. But don't go looking for clues about the new Star Wars trilogy in The Last Jedi, because Johnson himself says that there are none, for a very good reason.
"For me, it was more about this movie," explains the filmmaker, speaking via phone to Bustle's Kelsea Stahler on The Last Jedi's opening day. "It's totally separate. I think I was just trying to make this feel like a Star Wars movie to me, and I feel like to varying degrees of success, I made it."
"Each individual story is different," Johnson continues. "Whatever the next trilogy is going to be, it’ll be a totally different story, have different characters, as it needs, and probably some differences in tone. At the end of the day I was trying to make a good Star Wars movie here and I’ll be doing the same thing with the trilogy."
When the new movies were first announced, many fans of the franchise were elated, but filled with endless questions: what characters would the films follow? Would there be any familiar faces? What kind of battles and journeys and drama could we expect to see? Unfortunately, the answers won't be coming anytime soon, as it's unlikely that the new films will premiere until several years from now, seeing that the last movie in this trilogy, Star Wars: Episode 9, doesn't arrive until 2019. And while there will surely be some hints and clues as to what to expect coming our way during the wait, The Last Jedi, as Johnson says, purposely doesn't offer any of them.
That said, there are plenty of clues about Episode 9 in this just-released movie. Other than the big stuff thrown in about things like the identity of Rey's parents and Finn and Rose's burgeoning romance, there's also that huge, final scene, featuring a little boy from Canto Bight with the potential to become a future Jedi. The Force is alive and well with him, and potentially many others, due to Luke peacefully dying after using up all his energy and powers to help the Resistance find safety and escape the First Order.
"Luke has now given this spark of hope back to the galaxy, and [there's] the idea that this legend of Luke Skywalker is now going to spread anew and inspire the next generation," explains Johnson in his interview with Bustle. "What Luke did at the end was about more than saving a group of 20 people in a cave. The real purpose of it is seeing that final scene — that was more kind of the emotional payoff for me, the notion that finally the galaxy is ready. The seeds of resistance are going beyond a little group of soldiers, and to the rest of the galaxy now, thanks to Luke Skywalker."
In other words, Episode 9 will likely explore the aftermath of Luke's death, and the use of the Force by characters other than the heroes and villains we've come to know so far. The new Star Wars trilogy may be many years away, but hey, at least we have Episode 9 coming up, and some seriously cool information to theorize about while we wait.