8 Ideas For Rian Johnson's New Star Wars Trilogy

By Tom Pritchard on at

Last night Disney announced that there was going to be a brand new Star Wars trilogy, coming from Last Jedi creator Rian Johnson. Details are a little scarce right now, but we do know that the films will be standalone and not part of the 'Skywalker Saga' (ie Episodes I-IX).

So we got wondering, what will these films actually be about? Here are our ideas.

Knights of the Old Republic

This one is probably the most obvious suggestion, if Lucasfilm isn't going for something completely original. I doubt there's a single Star Wars fan out there who doesn't love the original Knights of the Old Republic game, especially since fans have been clamouring for a third (technically fourth) instalment and a TV series.

The old expanded universe covered thousands of years worth of events before The Phantom Menace rolled around, and that is ripe for re-adaptation. While our Interim Editor James O'Malley would no doubt love a political prequel written by Aaron Sorkin and akin to The West Wing, there are a lot more interesting things that can be done.

The rise and fall of Darth Revan is one, and the most obvious choice, but you could also go for the war between the Jedi and the Mandalorians. The Mandalorians have always been a popular part of the Star Wars canon, and even though they've undergone a lot of changes in recent years, we know that the war still happened thanks to something Kanan said in Rebels (1:31)

You can also bring in other aspects like the ancient Sith empire, and big events like the Hyperspace Wars. Basically anything is possible, and given Johnson seems to be exploring the Jedi's past in The Last Jedi it's an area perfect for cinematic adaptation.

An Obi Wan Trilogy

A few years ago rumours started to spread that Ewan McGregor had signed on for a brand new trilogy of Star Wars films, focussing on the character of Obi Wan Kenobi. That turned out to be a hoax, but there's no reason why it couldn't actually happen.

Sure word is that an Obi Wan movie is coming courtesy of director Stephen Daldry, but Lucasfilm still hasn't acknowledged or even confirmed those rumours yet. Disney CEO Bob Iger claimed that a stand-alone movie would follow Episode IX in 2020, but there's no reason why plans could change. Plus after the issues with Chris Miller and Phil Lord on the set of Solo, Lucasfilm might be wanting to stick to a director they know they can trust. It's why they brought JJ Abrams back, after all.

There's a lot of Obi Wan's life that hasn't been explored, and while having a story set pre-Phantom Menace might be a bit of a pain in terms of casting/CGI, there's still a total of 29 years between Star Wars films that are unaccounted for. The 10-year gap between Episodes I & II has been mostly unexplored, even in the Legends canon, and while Jake Lloyd is never going to return as Anakin, seeing him before he turns into Hayden Christensen would be nice.

There's also the 19-year gap between RotS and ANH, where Obi Wan was supposedly living on Tattooine. Bits of his life have been covered in Marvel's Star Wars comic and that one episode of Rebels, but all that accounts for a few weeks of time at most. There's no reason why you couldn't fill in large gaps with a trilogy or two. Plus, it means you can get some glimpses of Luke growing up on the Lars homestead, or even what Darth Maul was up to when he wasn't tormenting Kanan and Ezra.

Between Episodes III and IV

As I said, 19 years is a long time, and we don't have a particularly great picture of everything that happened between RotS and ANHRebels has covered a great deal, but the Galaxy is a big place and the Empire is everywhere - so there are plenty of stories ready to be told. Something Rebellion-based might be a bit much, but there are countless possibilities to choose from.

What was Vader doing during all that time, aside from the moments currently being chronicled in his own comic series? Was Palpatine sitting on his arse for 25 years? What about Thrawn, what was he up to before he encountered the Ghost crew? The possibilities are almost endless.

Luke's Jedi Order

A lot has been told about the years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but a lot remains completely unexplored. Case in point: Luke's fledgling Jedi order which we know was decimated by Kylo and the Knights of Ren - presumably on the orders of Supreme Leader Snoke. That decimation didn't happen until around five years before TFA though, as mentioned in the novel Bloodline. There's still about 25 years worth of stories to tell, particularly when it comes to how that new order came to be.

Doing the earlier stuff might be a bit tricky, seeing as how Mark Hamill is old now, but stranger things have happened. It doesn't necessarily have to focus on Luke anyway.

The trilogy is meant to be standalone, and not part of the core 'Skywalker Saga' as its come to be known. That means it likely wouldn't focus on Luke. Who's to say that it can't be a story about a new Jedi, with a couple of cameo appearances from a CGI-youthened Luke along the way?

Something Else Between RotJ and TFA

Remember how I said 19 years is a long time? 30 years is even longer, so there's a lot that can be told between the original and sequel trilogies. A lot has been told in the form of books, comics, and a videogame, but with a universe as vast as Star Wars there's never going to be a shortage of stories to tell. As Rogue One showed, even an event that a lot of people are seemingly familiar with can be put on the big screen as something great.

With the rise of the New Republic, and the First Order hiding away, who knows what stories can be told?

The Ancient Sith

We already know that Darth Bane is still part of the Star Wars canon (thanks Clone Wars), and that he is responsible for the age-old philosophy known as 'the rule of two'. This story has been chronicled a lot in the old Legends canon, and its the kind of thing that deserves some sort of reinstatement. How did Bane kill all the Sith? Why did he instigate the rule of two?

In fact this whole trilogy could be completely centred around the Sith before the prequels. The old Sith Empire and its war with the Jedi, Darth Bane, and then the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise. That will lead us nicely into George Lucas's films, including the possibility of explaining where Anakin came from, and shed some light on an area of the canon that has since been wiped out.

The First Jedi

Johnson has just finished off the tale of the last Jedi (or at least it looks that way from the trailers, and the title), so why not go back in time to cover the very first Jedi history recorded? There's plenty of room for imagination here, particularly when it comes down to the foundations of the ancient order.

The first Jedi temple is on Ach-To, that much we know, but who was the first Jedi? Were they someone who discovered they had force sensitivity in a society that were mostly full or regular midichlorian-lacking people? Or was linking to the force a common thing that was well documented, but this person decided to do something a little bit different with their own religion/cult/culture/organisation?

Maybe this is going back a bit far, since the Jedi themselves are an ancient organisation, but given the right setting I think this could work.

Something Completely Original

The Star Wars universe is vast. So vast that Rian Johnson could easily come up with three films that are completely original and don't take a lot of cues from other areas of canon - past or present. It doesn't need to relate back to existing characters or events that we all know about, which is something Star Wars has firmly stuck to throughout its history.

There's no harm in referencing other areas of the universe, as a way of saying "hey, this is new but that doesn't mean it's not Star Wars", but it doesn't always need to feature cameos from existing characters or obvious cues that go "hey look, remember this guy? He's here too!"

By letting go of the past, Johnson and Lucasfilm can carve out a new future for Star Wars with new characters and sections of the galaxy for everyone to explore. The Skywalkers are important, but they're not the centres of the universe. There's more to be told, and Johnson's trilogy would be the perfect place to do it.

These Strange Ideas

James thinks these are good ideas, and won't listen to reason and logic. They're also all stand-alone, which defeats the purpose of a 'trilogy'.

  • Tag & Bink the Movie
  • Boba Fett vs Jar Jar
  • Fury Road in Space
  • Planet of the Apes but with Wookiees
  • Band of Brothers with Stormtroopers
  • A prequel about how the Naboo trade blockade happened

So there are my ideas, alongside James's very strange pitches that don't really make sense. Who knows whether these ideas will be part of Johnson's new trilogy, so we'll have to wait and see. Even if they don't, there's also the TV series we've been promised.

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