Disney has announced that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is helming a new trilogy of movies, after the release of Episode IX. He will also write and direct the first instalment of the new trilogy.

The announcement shows what Disney has planned after the ninth film in the Skywalker saga. According to StarWars.com, this trilogy will be separate from the main story, introducing new characters from parts of the previous films that have never been explored. Johnson will be developing the movies with his long-time producer Ram Bergman.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said ‘We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi. 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 put on Twitter that he really hoped people enjoyed the Last Jedi:

The news of a new trilogy comes on the same day as Disney announced a new streaming service, where a live-action Star Wars TV series is in the works and is expected to launch in 2019 and will apparently cost ‘substantially less’ than Netflix.

The Last Jedi will drop in cinemas on 16th December.