Holy sh*t. Rian Johnson, who directed the amazing Looper and Brick (along with several great episodes of “Breaking Bad”) will be directing both Star Wars: Episode VIII and Episode IX. Not the spin-off movies, but the actual next two installments in the primary franchise.
Per Deadline, he’ll be taking over from JJ Abrams. “I’m told that Lucasfilm is making a deal with Looper writer-director Rian Johnson to write and direct Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX. Essentially, that means that the intention is for Johnson to take the baton from JJ Abrams, who has gotten the space franchise off the ground and is right now helming Episode VII… Johnson will take over the core film franchise, and he’ll get started quickly and this will be his preoccupation for quite awhile.”
That’s fantastic news for Star Wars. The only real downside is that we won’t be getting a pure dose of Johnson’s unique voice for a while, but since he’s also writing these two installments maybe some of that will work itself in.
Update: He’s writing and directing VIII. He’s writing a treatment for IX. Whether he, or someone else, directs the latter is TBD.