Disney Confirms Standalone ‘Star Wars’ Films In Between Episodes 7-9 [Updated]

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 29th, 2013 at 7:24 am,

Star Wars Logo Art Disney Confirms Standalone Star Wars Films In Between Episodes 7 9 [Updated]

From one recently-acquired film franchise to another, Disney is generating buzz and hype like we’ve never seen before. Their acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009 resulted in last summer’s record-breaking The Avengers and in October they acquired Lucasfilm with the hope of replicating the success by launching another Star Wars trilogy, beginning with Episode 7 in 2015.

On the Marvel side, there are six films that have official release dates over the next three years, with a seventh confirmed for sometime after that. Major rumors on Super Bowl Sunday detailed potential plans for another two (see: Planet Hulk). For Star Wars however, which now has J.J. Abrams attached to direct the first installment, Episode 7 is one chapter in a big unfolding book over a six-year period.

Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared live on CNBC today as the company shared their quarterly earnings. Not only was Iger able to proudly report higher-than-expected earnings, but he was able to force push another wave of Star Wars buzz throughout Wall Street and Hollywood.

Star Wars Millenium Falcon Render 570x311 Disney Confirms Standalone Star Wars Films In Between Episodes 7 9 [Updated]

After Abrams came aboard, jumping ship, so to speak, from the USS Enterprise to the Millenium Falcon (don’t worry, he’s still involved with the Star Trek Into Darkness sequel), new Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy hinted that the previously announced 2015 date may not be as firm as once believed. Part of the deal in convincing Abrams to sign on “after a day of furious negotiation” may have been that Abrams would get more time. From what Iger told the world today, that’s not the case and Star Wars Episode VII will release in 2015 as planned. There’s too much money on the line for it not to, and there’s plenty of time to get the film into production with its release date at least two and a half years out.

While that’s not too surprising considering the announcement of the Lucasfilm acquisition came packaged with the Episode 7 confirmation initially, what’s most interesting is that Iger also confirmed the timeline for the trilogy and that there are additional standalone Star Wars movies in the works to release during that time period as well:

“There’s been speculation about some standalone films that are in development, and I can confirm to you today that in fact we are working on a few standalone films. Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga. So we still plan to make Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 roughly over a six-year period of time, starting 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period of time too.”

Yoda Art Wallpaper 570x356 Disney Confirms Standalone Star Wars Films In Between Episodes 7 9 [Updated]

Over a six-year period means Star Wars Episode 8 will likely release in 2018 and Star Wars Episode 9 in 2021, with additional films in between. There could very well be at least one Star Wars movie per year depending on the resources and production capacity of Lucasfilm. However, Entertainment Weekly reported previously that Kennedy told the Lucasfilm staff that they will be ramping up for producing 2-3 films per year, meaning they very well may be embracing the Marvel cinematic universe strategy.

The timing of this confirmation lends credence to AICN’s scoop last night that the first standalone movie Lucasfilm and Kennedy are working on is a film about Yoda. Yoda of course, is part of the saga, but we don’t know if Iger’s use of the word is in reference to the saga as a whole or if he’s specifically referring to characters no longer alive post-Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Darth Malak 570x332 Disney Confirms Standalone Star Wars Films In Between Episodes 7 9 [Updated]

Darth Malak in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

If by “characters that are not part of the overall saga” refers to Episodes 1-9, then we could very well eventually see standalone features based on some of the more popular pieces of the Star Wars expanded universe. Could stories from the novels, comics or games finally get the big screen treatment? Are Knights of the Old Republic and Shadows of the Empire real possibilities? Boba Fett solo film?

One of these standalone films could also be the rumored Zack Snyder Seven Samurai style film, which we thought could be a neat story to fit in a younger Yoda who proves himself as a leader in battle. What would you like to see come 2016?

[Update: Lucasfilm followed up Bob Iger's statements on CNBC by confirming that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are each working on separate standalone films. Each will focus on a character not part of the saga.]

The Star Wars cinematic galaxy is about to experience a Big Bang. Lucasfilm is officially announcing new spinoff films that will expand the mythos and depths of the Star Wars universe in previously unexplored ways.

One of the standalone films will be written by Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter of The Empire Strikes BackRaiders of the Lost Ark, and co-writer ofReturn of the Jedi while the other will be penned by Simon Kinberg, writer of Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The movies will be separate from the upcoming Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, on which Kasdan and Kinberg are also consulting, and are expected to be released sometime after Episode VII. Each standalone film will focus on a specific character, and two spinoff films are currently confirmed.

In a call to investors, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, revealed while the original focus was on the highly-anticipated sequel trilogy, the idea of spinoff films was bandied about early and the additional films are now becoming a reality. “We are in development of a few standalone films,” he said, “that are not part of the Star Wars saga…there are now creative entities working on developing scripts for what would be those standalone films.”

Stay tuned to StarWars.com as more exciting developments unfold.

Star Wars Episode 7 will hit theaters in summer 2015.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: AICNCNBC, EW, LucasfilmTHR

Millenium Falcon art by Acain Rivard.

Follow Rob Keyes on Twitter @rob_keyes
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. whhaaaaaaaaaaa

    • Too much, just too much. For example, I have no interest in sitting and watching a movie about the little green muppet, Yoda, for two hours.

      • Yoda is a far more interesting story than any “human” one could generate.

      • You mean the same “muppet” that tumbled, flipped and jumped around attacking Count Dooku? Yeah……wouldn’t want to see any more of that…./yawn

        Yoda is 7 kind of awesome and I would watch a movie based around him.

        • ^This^

  2. Am I the only one who would like to see a Star Killer film? And a Darth Malak KOTOR film would be epic. The cinematic trailers were incredibly awesome

    • star killer would be great

    • A KOTOR prequel? That could work.

  3. This will be a great idea as long as the stories are solid. I hope they don’t sacrifice quality to get quantity.

    • I’m afraid that will happen too. I think that Episode 7, 8, 9 will be great quality. But I think SW will be too pressured by Marvel universe and start spitting movies out.

  4. Thats a great idea, lets juggle an ever expanding Star Wars Universe, Marvel Universe, and whatever Bruckheimer is doing. Have all the franchises compete for attention and funding not just in Hollywood in general, but with in the same studio.

    And thats not all, while your engulfed in a Star Wars canon, lets through in a prequel/midquel that has nothing to do with it in the mix, just to confuse the movie goers.

    seriously Disney? What is the rush? One project at a time please. I dont mind planning everything out until 2030 but take it one step at a time

    • This is Disney we’re talking about. Money is NOT an issue with their studio, besides, pretty much EVERYONE works for Disney nowadays, there will be plenty of attention to go around.

      As far as the movie goers go, Star Wars fans know the names of the members on the Jedi council better than they know all 50 states! I doubt anyone will be confused!


  6. No Starkiller please. No movies about Anakin’s supposed apprentices. I’d prefer KOTOR, but if I had to choose, I’d rather have a movie based upon a Star Wars villain( Darth Maul/Assaj Ventress) than anything. Darth Bane even. There’s too many restrictions/code when following the lives of the good guys. The bad guys don’t have that problem.

    • Funny – that is what makes the bad guys boring in opinion. Why are they doing whatever it is they are doing? Because they can, and they want to.

      Why does a good guy do what he is doing? Because it is the right thing to do and he must. How can he do what he needs to do without violating his code? What are the ramifications if he breaks his code?

      In my opinion that is much more interesting than the bad guy.

  7. Knights of the Old Republic would be awesome. I got totally sucked into that story when I played it. Has my second favorite Star Wars moment behind Empire’s climax.

  8. darth bane or kotor movie please.

  9. Oh lord… now they’re taking this thing way too far. -.-

  10. Boba fett anyone?

    • JANGO


      • So ango?

  11. OOO… maybe Jar Jar will finally get his own movie!! (sarcasm)… Seriosuly though… a movie about Yoda could be nice…

    • is the J silent there too?

      • Ar Ar ?
        Maybe a pirate movie ? :)

  12. There are plenty of great characters to explore. My only real request: leave the prequel era alone for now, and don’t do a Yoda film. Even I don’t want to see that.

  13. I mean sureley a fan favorite character who didnt do sh*t can finally get somthing to make him worth all the fan boy love.

    • Your talking about bobba fett right? Yeah i dont get the love for him lol

      • Mace Windu!

  14. Bane would be amazing. Great potential. As long as like the other person said, focus on solid storyline. Anything is possible. No matter what, it’s great having something that, other than novels, I had left for dead be given new life.

    • I have to agree. I’d pay to see a younger yoga.

  15. Yoda in a standalone film (especially if it’s when he’s MUCH younger) is a friggin’ fantastic idea!! I’d pay $16 bucks a ticket for THAT! :D

  16. So people really think that watching CGI Yoda for 2 hours will make it a very good movie?

    Doesn’t matter whose story it is, but any standalone movie is likely to be boring.
    Having no decent goal in the storyline won’t make it good.
    CGI will not cover it, only thing here is cash, exploding action and non stop CGI.

  17. Yoda movie would rock… and probably one of the most realistic and easiest options for a first movie..
    So would a movie about boba fett and/or the mandolorians…
    KOTOR would rock..
    Darth bane would be fun..
    Love to see a rogue squadron movie too

  18. KOTOR Episodes trilogy!!! Would be sick!!!

    • I agree!!!

    • I’d be down for that :)

  19. How ’bout a Lando Calrissian movie during his days with the Millenium Falcon?

  20. A standalone film… How about the story of Vador hunting every Jedi survivors, between episode 3 and 4, and his true hidden motivation is hoping to find Obiwan… We could witness his full power and devastation!

    • Yes!

  21. Four words, Shadows of the Empire.

  22. I’m all for a Shadows of the Empire movie too! What about a movie on the first Jedi?

  23. I’m all for a Shadows of the Empire movie too but what about a movie on the first Jedi?

  24. We know very little about Yoda per-Episode 1, besides him being Dooku’s master. Before he died in Jedi, he was over 800 years old. Tons of stories you can tell, going all the way back to his origins with the force. Remember, we don’t even know what planet or even the name of his species. We could learn a lot plus would be nice to find out his he become a Master. Awesome idea!

    • actually we do know his species. Lannik

      • at least I think it is… I’m a little rusty. Grad school and what not

    • if you read the history of star wars it shows in there that yoda on his quest to being a master was with a group of other jedi who died and took on seven sith masters at once and killed them all.

      • I thought there could only be 1 Sith lord and his apprentice?

      • That’s not really Star Wars history. That’s non-canon EU. It didn’t really happen.

    • Yoda was a cool character when Empire Strikes Back came out, and remained so even before the new trilogy. I know it has become the norm in this genre for characters to get “origin” stories but, is it really always needed? Yoda existed in the context of the broader story and his importance will not increase or decrease if they portray him looking like a younger, Ninja Turtle version of himself just to make more money.

  25. Gimme Quinlan Vos, Yoday, Bobba Fett or gimme death!!

  26. I hope Disney doesnt over do it now they own it, too many Star Wars films and it might lose the magic, it will feel way to common seeing Star Wars films coming out frequently, They need to take one thing at a time here or risk stuffing it all up, Just look to SW 7 and put everying into that first, cos it has to be a masterpiece no question, Star Wars should be the bench mark of Sci-Fi, leave all the stand alone films for now, just make the next trilogy first..

  27. I wonder if we are seeing a new paradigm taking shape here, one based on the “Marvel” formula where 2-3 movies per year based on pretty well known material come out. It worked well for Marvel so far but that may be due to the novelty of seeing some of the most well known comics live on screen. Will it work for Star Wars that started out on the big screen? Possibly, we shall see. What DC does next will very likely shape this trend.

  28. I wonder if we are seeing a new paradigm taking shape here, one based on the “Marvel” formula where 2-3 movies per year based on pretty well known material come out. It worked well for Marvel so far but that may be due to the novelty of seeing some of the most well known comics live on screen. Will it work for Star Wars that started out on the big screen? Possibly. What DC does next will very likely shape this trend.

    • A new paradigm called flooding the market……

  29. This has got to be the dumbest idea ever. It ruins the magic of this series.

    • How?

      • An explanation isn’t necessary but Ill try my best. It is an opinion of mine and a lot of others. Movies can create a special feeling or memory for people. Like the first time they saw Star Wars in theaters as a child. They will remember how it smelled in the theater, what snacks they bought, and probably the weather outside. Now when you have a bunch of spin offs, it makes it less magical and memorable. Im not as old as some people who write on her a lot so I can’t relate to their experience of the first trilogy, but I remember all of that for the 2nd. Just like I can remember when I saw Jurassic Park in theaters and the Star Trek TNG movies. I seriously don’t want a spin off of Chekov or Sulu, or T-Rex for that matter.

        All this is, is a cash cow. And it will ruin the magic of Yoda or anyone else. Enough said.

        • Oh, you mean like how Lucas completely ruined, “the magic” by making episodes 1-3? (ok, episode 3 wasn’t all that bad but….)

          Plus with all of the other Star Wars things going on like multiple MMOs based on the SW universe, other games, animated TV series, etc. that special experience has already been expanded upon.

          Face it, people want MORE of this universe. period. All Disney is attempting to do recapture some of that magic and give the public what they want. And sure they are doing this to make money, it IS a business after all but they can do both can’t they? (make money while making great movies) Seems they have done a good job of that with Marvel so give the Mouse House a chance before condemning them. They can’t screw up the franchise any worse than Lucas did.

          • I don’t want to argue the percentage of the people who lived through the original trilogy in theaters versus the number of people who play online video games of the series, but I’m positive it’s a small percentage.

          • This I do know. I am excited about this. The difference between Star Trek and Star Wars though, is about 500 or more episodes lol. There isn’t much magic left in the TV series.

        • I don’t see why you’re so wrapped up in the magic of the original trilogy and Yoda. I think the bigger issue is whether a Yoda movie would be good or not.