Rian Johnson has been confirmed to write the script for Star Wars: Episode VIII and also will write a treatment for Star Wars: Episode IX. Johnson will apparently be directing VIII and potentially IX as well, so I guess that means J.J. Abrams will walk away after Episode VII.
Episode VII will no doubt lay the groundwork for Episodes VIII and IX in terms of catching us up on Luke, Leia, and Han as well as introducing all of our new characters. This is somewhat interesting because a lot of people, including myself, assumed that J.J. Abrams was taking over Star Wars and would be directing the new trilogy in its entirety. However, with Johnson being involved with the last two episodes as a writer and director this could prevent a lot of hurdles that have come into play with VII, so far. The main example is writer Michael Arndt being booted from the film and having the script completely re-written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams. With Johnson writing both VIII and IX, that will boost up continuity and severely decreases the risk of massive re-writes and firings.
If you're unfamiliar with Rian Johnson you can't really be blamed because he only has three directing credits (Looper, The Brother's Bloom, Brick) and a couple television credits (Breaking Bad, Terriers). His writing credits are just as small and the only include the three movies he's directed and a couple short films. I was personally disappointed with Looper, but I think he has the potential to make decent Star Wars movies. It seems that Disney is mainly seeking out directors with a science fiction background, so they're at least trying to stick to the genre.
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