Rian Johnson, Carrie Fisher Star Wars the Last Jedi

David James/Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Force is strong in Rian Johnson.

Lucasfilm announced Thursday afternoon that the 43-year-old writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (in theaters Dec. 15) will create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy, the first of which he is also set to write and direct, with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce.

"We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on The Last Jedi. Star Wars is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it," the filmmaking duo said in a statement. "We can't wait to continue with this new series of films."

"We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said. "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."

Johnson's films, separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, will introduce all new characters. No release dates have been set yet, and per Lucasfilm, "no porgs were available for comment."

J.J. Abrams, who wrote and directed 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will return to oversee the third and final chapter of the current series, set for release on Dec. 20, 2019. The movie will see the return of Finn (John Boyega), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Rey (Daisy Ridley), and it will also introduce characters such as Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran).

Lucasfilm clearly believes in Johnson's vision, as it replaced Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard on Solo: A Star Wars Story, and it fired Colin Trevorrow to hire Abrams for Episode IX.

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