Rian Johnson Hints He Won’t Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX,’ at Least for Now

“I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again,” filmmaker says Monday at press conference in Japan

Rian Johnson hinted on Monday that he won’t be directing “Star Wars: Episode IX” — at least for now.

In a news conference in Japan to promote the franchise’s upcoming eighth episode, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Johnson responded cagily to suggestions that he might step in to oversee the ninth installment after last week’s sudden ouster of director Colin Trevorrow.

“Whoever does it, I’m going to be really excited to be an audience member again, and to sit down and see what the next filmmaker has to show us and where this story ends up going,” said Johnson, whose previous work includes the 2012 sci-fi movie “Looper.”

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“It was never in the plan for me to direct Episode IX, so I don’t know what’s going to happen with it,” Johnson said, while sidestepping the question whether he’d be willing to take on the project if asked.

“For me, I was entirely focused on Episode VIII and having this experience,” he added. “Now I’m just thinking about putting the movie out there and seeing how audiences respond to it. So no, I’m not really thinking about that right now.”

Last week, Colin Trevorrow stepped down as the director of “Star Wars: Episode IX.” The shakeup marks the third time in two years — and the second time in three months — that Lucasfilm has parted ways with a director.

Watch the video above.