Disney made some big waves when they acquired Lucasfilm for the bargain price of $4 billion in 2012. The Mouse House is already reaping the benefits from that purchase thanks to last year's box office record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be the second Star Wars film released under Disney's watch, and will be the first installment that acts as a spinoff in the larger Star Wars universe (rather than focusing on main legacy of the Jedi and the Skywalker family).
Star Wars isn't the only major Lucasfilm property, however. Indiana Jones also came with the deal, and Disney/Lucasfilm recently announced that a fifth entry, once again directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, will be coming in 2019.
Collider was at Star Wars Celebration Europe, where a panel called “The Art of Storytelling” discussed the role of the Lucasfilm Story Group in keeping the company's continuity intact across multiple films, TV series, comics, and games. During the panel, ILM President Lynwen Brennan dropped an intriguing note about that other Lucasfilm property:
"Kiri [Hart] and her group have mapped out a story and timeline across multiple platforms many years in advance, many exhausting years in advance. … We have a great honor to have responsibility for, so we want to be really careful with that. Not only for Star Wars but with Indiana Jones, which we’re all really excited about as well."
It makes sense that the Story Group would be responsible for all of Lucasfilm's properties, but it's telling that Brennan highlighted Indiana Jones so specifically. The only known Indy property on the horizon is the Spielberg-directed sequel scheduled for 2019. With only four movies and a 1992 television spinoff in his official canon, it would appear that there isn't currently much for the Story Group to oversee at this point. If they really are as excited about Indy's future as Brennan is indicating, it would seem that there is quite a bit on the adventurer's horizons.
Disney CEO Bob Iger made news last month by calling Spielberg's upcoming sequel a "reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort." He clarified that he may have been getting his terminology wrong and that Harrison Ford was returning to continue the story we're familiar with. But the suggestion then was that there were plans beyond the Ford-led sequel. Thanks to Brennan, we now know the Story Group is involved, which indicates those plans may be big.
What these plans entail is anybody's guess. Comics and video games seem a given, but with the 74-year-old Ford already at the tail end of his adventuring years, it's clear that the movies will eventually have to either re-cast Jones or come up with a new protagonist. It's hard to imagine Disney greenlighting a Shia LaBeouf-led Not Indiana Jones: The Adventures of Mutt. Perhaps if Alden Ehrenreich's turn in the young Han Solo film is well received, he'll take up the whip and fedora next? (Okay, probably not.)
Of course, three years is a long time for the next Indiana Jones entry, and The Lucasfilm Story Group is just getting their feet wet with an all new Star Wars continuity. However both of these Lucasfilm properties continue to expand, it's good to know that somebody is behind the wheel.
Indiana Jones 5 will open in U.S. theaters on July 19th, 2019.