This Will Be Set In A Specific Era
This new series will be set in a different time-period. It won't be based in the age of the Skywalkers or the Solos; instead, it will either be set in the far future or the distant past. The former seems more likely. The old Expanded Universe included one series, Star Wars: Legacy, that revealed events 100 years after Return of the Jedi. That series effectively 'locked in' the timeline, and the EU soon became nothing more than build-up. Lucasfilm are unlikely to repeat the same mistake.
Fans are hoping that Benioff and Weiss will revisit the much-loved Knights of the Old Republic era. This would certainly fit their skillsets. It was a time when Jedi and Sith both numbered in the thousands, when the war between light and dark raged across the galaxy. Star Wars: Rebels has recently brought elements of that era back into the Star Wars canon, making this idea far more likely than before.
Production Will Begin Once Game Of Thrones Is Finished
According to Benioff and Weiss, they'll begin work on the new Star Wars series when Game of Thrones has come to an end. The final season isn't due to air until 2019, but once work on that show is over, Benioff and Weiss will be heading to a galaxy far, far away.
It's certainly an unexpected twist for the duo. In July last year, HBO announced they'd ordered a new series from Benioff and Weiss. Confederate would be set in an alternate timeline, in a world where the South had won the American Civil War. To HBO's surprise, the announcement was met with expressions of outrage and anger. American politics is particularly fractured right now, and the Confederate flag has become a major issue.
It seems likely the outcry has forced HBO to drop their plans for Confederate. Instead, Benioff and Weiss will move on to Lucasfilm.
There's No Release Date Yet
Given production won't start until 2019, it's no surprise that Lucasfilm haven't announced a release date. The last time they launched a new era, with The Force Awakens, it took three years for production to be completed. In truth, that film didn't really spend much time in world-building. It left countless questions unanswered, much to the frustration of viewers. Ultimately, this approach backfired when Rian Johnson chose to subvert the questions. Fans, who'd invested in these mysteries for two years, were furious.
This time around, Lucasfilm is taking a different approach. They've recruited Benioff and Weiss to do the world-building first, before they hire a director. That should avoid the mistakes of The Force Awakens, and ensure better reception from the fans.
This Was Announced The Day Of Another Disney Conference Call
The announcement has come minutes before Disney released its annual financial results. The House of Mouse reported mixed results, with the film studio seeing a 1 percent drop in revenue and a 2 percent fall in operating income. Speaking in a conference call, Iger admitted that The Last Jedi had failed to fulfill some expectations. He pointed to the success of Thor: Ragnarok as a highlight of 2017, though, and positively raved about his expectations for Black Panther. Meanwhile, he revealed that Disney's new streaming service - due to launch in 2019 - would feature "a few" new Star Wars series, with some "rather significant" talents attached.
All in all, it's been a big day for Star Wars news. Nobody expected Benioff and Weiss to join forces with Lucasfilm, but the prospect is one that's sure to delight fans. Benioff and Weiss specialize in world-building, and they're sure to bring something fresh and new to the Star Wars story.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019