Star Wars has always been about the Skywalkers, but their saga could come to an end after Star Wars: Episode IX. Lucasfilm has only just began to market the latest installment in this saga with Star Wars: The Last Jedi getting its first teaser poster and trailer, but from a studio perspective they are already thinking well beyond that. There current (and new) formula has been switching between episodic tales and anthology movies every year. It was this slate that brought Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to theaters a few months ago, and currently has the young Han Solo movie in development.
Even if the success of Rogue One has bolstered the confidence Lucasfilm has in these anthology films, the larger universe has been about the Skywalkers since the beginning. Currently, only Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) are left from this lineage that we know of, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is not sure whether or not this saga will continue.
Kennedy spoke to Fandago following the panel for The Last Jedi at Star Wars Celebration Orlando and asked her about the future of the franchise. Episode IX is the last officially announced movie on their slate, and even though it has been confirmed that this franchise will continue well after 2019, that could be the end of the Skywalker saga.
I certainly foresee movies past nine. Whether or not we carry on the Skywalker saga… you know, George always intended nine movies, and whether we continue that or not is something we’re talking about right now. If the story warrants it, we’ll absolutely do it. If it actually inspires new ideas, then we’ll probably head in that direction. We just don’t know yet.
It was just a few weeks ago that Disney's Bob Iger stated they have movies planned out till 2030, following his comments that Star Wars will continue forever, so even if the Skywalker saga ends, it most definitely would not be the end of this beloved franchise. Ultimately, they are still waiting to see how everything plays out with this trilogy, and with Carrie Fisher no longer being around, it could be in their best interest to move on from the Skywalker saga - especially if Luke dies and Kylo doesn't turn to the light. Plus, this is not the first time Kennedy has suggested the Skywalker saga may be coming to an end.
On the other hand, this does directly contradict a previous report saying another trilogy was already in the works. While that report did not specify whether or not it would revolve around the Skywalkers in some way, it would be a big departure from the norm for them to do otherwise. That may not be a bad thing however, as stepping away from the Skywalkers could give them more freedom beyond exploring this vast galaxy through the perspective of a single bloodline.
While this news will certainly keep fans on their heels regarding the future, Kennedy also cautioned that it could be a while before any of their post-Episode IX plans are revealed saying, "I wouldn’t say this year, but certainly by next year." Whether or not this secrecy applies to the future of the anthology films as well remains to be seen, but clearly Kennedy and Lucasfilm are still figuring this out and keeping their cards close to the chest.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018