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Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is expanding a galaxy far, far away.
The writer-director will create a new trilogy set in the Star Wars universe and will pen and helm the first installment, Lucasfilm announced Thursday. Ram Bergman, Johnson’s longtime producer partner, will produce.
“We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”
The new movies will be separate from the continuing Skywalker saga and “Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored,” according to the announcement.
The move is a strong vote of confidence by Disney and Lucasfilm in Johnson’s work on the upcoming Last Jedi, which is set to open Dec. 15.
“Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi,” Johnson wrote on Twitter after the news broke.
During an earnings call Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that in addition to the new trilogy, the Star Wars universe would be expanding with a live-action TV show, which would be available on a Disney streaming service, which is set to launch in 2019.
The new trilogy comes as Lucasfilm also has Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is due out May 25, 2018, and director J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set to bow Dec. 20, 2019.
Nov. 9, 2:50 p.m. Updated with Johnson’s tweet.
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