We’ve got 34 days, 12 hours and 50 minutes left until Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi flies into the cinemas. But it seems that Disney and Lucasfilm are so proud of what Rian has accomplished that they’ve already tapped him to write and direct a whole new trilogy of films.

The news first came from Disney CEO himself, Bob Iger, who announced the films during his earnings call with Disney shareholders. The story was followed up on Star Wars (.com), where the some more details were fleshed out.

There, Kathleen Kennedy, president at Lucasfilm, expressed just how much they loved working with Johnson, and how they and Disney are ‘immensely proud’ of his work on The Last Jedi“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 and his frequent collaborator Ram Bergman, who will produce the new trilogy, shared the kind words; “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. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.” 

But for those of you who are worried in light of The Force Awakens, the Solo director mess and some parts of The Last Jedi trailers that Star Wars is starting to churn out more of the same, don’t worry. With his new trilogy, Johnson is set to take the Star Wars universe in a bold new direction, featuring ‘new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored’. The new films will be completely separate from the Skywalker saga, hence Kennedy’s ‘blank canvas’ comment.

It’s been clear for a while now that Lucasfilm was eager to continue to work with Rian Johnson, and many expected him to take over from Colin Trevorrow after he dropped out of Episode IX, before J.J. Abrams returned to the franchise. And now that he’s writing and directing a whole new trilogy of films, it’s clear that the relationship built during production of The Last Jedi was a strong one.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi flies into cinemas on December 15th 2017.