Today it was revealed through an interview with Mashable, that Rian Johnson will not be setting his new Star Wars trilogy during the Old Republic era, because he truly wants to create something brand new with no previous ties to any other Star Wars story told before. When you factor in his recent comments with the official press release that announced his new trilogy, which featured this key sentence — “introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored” — then you have to fundamentally rule out any Star Wars time period that has been featured in Star Wars lore to date. Now, don’t get me wrong, he and Lucasfilm could very well be playing semantics over what eras have never been explored when you consider that the Old Republic era has been jettisoned from Star Wars canon, but I don’t think they’re playing that game. I do believe that he wants to go somewhere in some time that has never been explored, so with this new revelation that it will not take place during the Old Republic, I feel there is only one era that truly hasn’t had a single bit of lore taken from it.
I first argued with myself that there could be two eras, because technically there hasn’t been much covered from the early days of the Republic that was featured in the Prequel films, books, comics, etc., but based on the new trilogy’s mantra of going full-new, I talked myself out of including it. Again, I could completely be taking Rian and Disney too literally here, but he really does sound like he wants to explore a brand new setting with brand new characters, while also maintaining elements of the franchise such as the use of the Force in his new trilogy, so I do think there is only one time period that meets his criteria.
This time period would be the years following Episode IX, because it’s the only era that hasn’t been explored in Star Wars lore to date. Every other era has been explored in some form or fashion, be it with canon-based stories, or old Star Wars legends. The Old Republic was covered by three video games. The Republic era of course had various books, comics, games, animated TV shows, and the awful prequels to tell its stories. The Imperial era has its own animated series, books, comics, games, and of course four films to flesh it out. The era between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the New Republic and First Order have been detailed in books, comics, and more recently in Star Wars Battlefront 2, which features canon-based narratives that span all the way to the start of The Force Awakens. Finally, the era that the new Skywalker trilogy is set in is obviously being covered by the three new films, books, comics, and other forms of media that can relate narratives to individuals.
If you take Rian, Disney, and Lucasfilm’s pledge that this new trilogy will “introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored” verbatim, then there truly is only one era that fits their criteria. In terms of the post Episode IX setting, I would imagine it’d be set decades down the road from the events that will take place in that film. I do believe that Rian wants to stay as far away from the Skywalker saga timelines as possible, so if they do go for this particular era, I think it will be 30-40 years after whatever happens in Episode IX.
Like I mentioned earlier I’m probably taking Rian’s statements too literally, but the fact that he’s already shot down the Old Republic era solely based on wanting to create something brand spanking new, then we really can only think that his trilogy will be set in the only era with zero lore explored. This again is the era that will take place after the conclusion of Star Wars Episode IX. It’s ripe for the picking and has a completely blank canvas while also remaining in the same universe we’re all so familiar with without touching on anything we’ve seen or read before.
Feel free to shred my theory apart by using the comment section below.
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