While Lucasfilm has yet to officially announce that Rian Johnson is directing Episode VIII, that definitely hasn’t stopped him from talking about it! Rian Johnson and fellow filmmaker Terry Gilliam did an episode of the The TalkHouse Podcast, where Rian Johnson talks about his next project being Episode VIII. He discusses what it’s like to write something he’s loved ever since he was a child, keeping the balance of being both responsible and creative with “Star Wars,” and bringing Frank Oz back to perform Yoda again! You can listen to the podcast below, where the Episode VIII talk begins at the 19 minute and 35 seconds mark.
While I think the talk about Frank Oz coming back as Yoda was mainly discussed as just having some fun (Though I’m sure he would love to have Frank Oz come back if Yoda is in fact in Episode VIII in some way) I found the most interesting aspect of this discussion was that Rian Johnson says he’s both writing and directing Episode VIII. Since there hasn’t been an official announcement made about Rian Johnson being involved with Episode VIII, we didn’t really know if was just directing the movie, or writing it as well, but now we know that he is in fact both writing and directing it.
Despite Rian Johnson being so open to talk about it, I don’t think we’ll probably hear an official announcement about him writing and directing Episode VIII until we get closer to Episode VII’s release, so that the attention, and possible questions of why J.J. Abrams isn’t returning, wont take anything away from Episode VII, because I thought we definitely would’ve heard some official announcement about it by now. But never the less, it’s still exciting to know that work is already starting on the next episode chapter of the “Star Wars” saga!