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. Please let there be a darth maul stand alone. Please bring ray park back to play this character.

    • darth bane and REVAN!!!!! o o o and maybe mendalorians wars? omg its like my dreams come true!! A few years back i did some bets that will be more movies about sw unierse and this is perfect moment to make some calls;p

    • Darth Maul is dead. Cut in half. Not much you can do about that. Plus, he doesn’t advance the storyline after RotJ.

      His EU appearances don’t count. EU doesn’t count. It’s much better is Disney comes up with their own, original material.

      • If you’ve watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you’d know he’s not actually dead, and that he survived being sliced in half.

  2. Give me a darth sidious, and darth bane movie.

  3. They should let Timothy Zhan write a set of movies.

    • Terrible idea. He’s not a very good author.

      • Are you serious, The Thrawn Trilogy is awesome.

  4. i think they should do the force unleashed. Give it a proper ending. and also maybe why count Dooku became a sith and darth vader hunting the jedi.

  5. I always hoped Mace Windu survived the fall and is wondering the solar system like a space age kung fu, Or a Darth Maul movie.

    • Why not if Boba Fett survived the Sarlaac Pit. I guess all the Jedi could have survived Order 66 too.

      • Well Anakin survived when he jumped out of that car/speeder, why couldn’t Windu or Boba? On the Clone Wars Darth Maul lived and got some new legs.

      • At least Boba Fett surviving is plausible, considering that armour and the Sarlacc’s slow digestion rate. Bringing back Darth Maul for the Clone Wars show was just ridiculous. He was sliced in half AND fell down a bottomless shaft for crying out loud!

    • Mace Windu is one of my favorite Jedi and I nearly cried when he died in the III. He deserved to live. So a Mace Windu movie should be made.

  6. If they did kotor correctly they could easily make a trilogy.

    • This!! I want to see vader on screen one more time. It could be set any time between 3 and 4 and would not contradict any work put out so far.

      They could also do a Dooku film and maybe some films in and around the PT that do not try and rewrite it but just give the PT a bit more credibility. Maybe sone clone wars stuff. Seeing windu/yoda together in their prime would be epic. If they get the quality, which is very important to me, then this is such a good time to be a sci-fi/superhero nerd. Bring on SW, MCU AND THE DCCU

  7. Looks like Marvel’s way of doing things is becoming popular! :D

    This is awesome news. ‘Kinda sucks that we won’t get the Yoda or Boba Fett movie anymore (“working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga”), but maybe someday though.

    I like what I hear Disney… now just go make some great movies, please-thanks!

    • “Working on FILMS derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga.” The films are not derived from the overall Saga but the characters are. Yoda and Fett stories are definately still on the table.

    • What I understood from that is they are not part of the future episodic movies meaning Fett and Yoda are fair game.

      • Exactly. The sky (or the stars) are the limit!!

  8. I can see lens flares on that Millenium Falcon :) Photo — but seriously , i would like to see a Stand alone movie during the Knights of the old republic. That would be so bad ass

  9. Why not take it back to the beginning, when the disposed Dark Jedis find the Sith and begin the creation of the Sith Empire. I also think the Old Republic story, with Satele Shaan and Darth Malgus would be epic. They are already popular characters due to the Lego kits from the game featuring those 2 as mini-figures

  10. i would love to see a film set in the old republic era during the jedi wars. maybe like in swtor?

    • Now that’s not bad, since it’s the only EU stuff that’s any good.

  11. I only recently discovered a french comic book series from the seventies called Valerian and Laureline, by the artist Jean Claude Mezieres. The artist was a lifelong friend of Moebius, and they both were worked on the design of the movie the 5th Element, because the director had grown up inspired by their work. Moebius heavily influenced the look of movies like Alien and Blade Runner, and the imperial spy drown from Empire was directly lifted from the background of one of his panels.

    Anyway, Star Wars, old and new, has liberally “appropriated” from that series. Google “mezieres star wars” and you’ll see plenty of examples.

    Anyway, there was a Jabba the Hutt comic back in the early 90′s and it was pretty good. The issue I had featured several short stories, but there is more potential there than one might think. He’d be like Tony Soprano.

  12. Personally I’d like to see these stand alone films LEFT ALONE until after they’ve completed the new trilogy! Surely they should be concentrating all their resources and talent upon making this new trilogy the best it can be, and not milking the creative well dry before these have even been made.

    Methinks Disney is already giddy with greed, rather than creativity in regards to their acquisition of Star Wars…

  13. Have they changed the “Star Wars” logo? That one at the top of the page is unfaamiliar to me. (I don’t like change) (^-^)

  14. I think this is bad news for fans of the existing EU. I suspect this means that pretty much every major thing and characterization from the EU will be ignored and the movies will be the official Canon. Future EU properties will conform to whatever the movies establish.

    Don’t believe me? Read up on what happened with the Clone Wars TV show decided the Karen Travis’ Republic/Imperial Commando book series was wrong about Madalorian society.

    • A ret-con of the future I see.

    • Good. The EU stuff isn’t that good anyway, and needs to be seperated from canon. Disney should just go with their own original material. It will be better that way.

  15. Star Wars Pixar film maybe?

  16. Good news. I don’t give a crap about the people that are whining about this. Most of us want to see more Star Wars movies. End of story.

  17. Good news. I don’t care about the people that are whining about this. Most of us want to see more Star Wars movies. End of story.

  18. let’s go. Film about AHSOKA TANO the frozen and thawed in SW 7 !!!

  19. Could, or more to the point. Would Disney allow a movie to show the off screen killing of kids.

    Though thinks, any movie set forth in hollywood, would avoid death of children.

    • Since Star Wars isn’t likely to be distributed under the Disney brand the is likely yes, especially if it serves a purpose in the story. Gotta remember Disney does release R-rated films, they just put the Touchstone label on it.

    • Well, Walt Disney owns Buena Vista (now renamed to Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures). Buena Vista produced Starship Troopers and Con Air. Sure, there were no kids involved in those movies and they were made a long time ago, but if Disney was okay with on screen violence of that magnitude they probably are okay with off screen deaths. ;)

  20. ‘Standalone movies’ = Best two words ever.

  21. STUPID KID HAN SOLO: Now THIS is Falcon flying!

  22. Kyle Katarn movie! Of course I like the idea of a Star Wars TV show too. The TV should be about Boba Fett though and have the smugglers and scum of Coruscant.

  23. This is freak’n AWSOME & amazing!!! Yes!! What a great day to be a star wars fan!!!! I will take all that they have to give, and still want more!!!

  24. I’m thinking they mean 2-3 films from Lucasfilm a year, not necesarily Star Wars movies. Honestly, I’d prefer just one Star Wars movie a year. It’s keeping with the Marvel strategy of always building excitement for the next thing, while still avoiding diluting the Star Wars brand.

  25. I’m only familiar with the SW film canon. But this Darth Bane character sounds pretty good to me. -_-


  26. It would be really interesting if they were to adapt some stories from the ‘Shadows of the Empire’ timeline.

  27. NO EU! Come up with original stories and source material. Very little of the EU is screenworthy!.

    • Splash, you’re wrong. The Thrawn Trilogy and Legacy of the Forcw series could all be adapted for the silver screen. Darth Plagueis could too.

  28. YODA!!!! Need I say more?

  29. let it bleed, till no more money flows….