When Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, they immediately went to work on developing a sequel trilogy set in the mainline Skywalker family saga (beginning with 2015's The Force Awakens), as well as a series of standalone spinoff films to help flesh out the larger universe (starting with last year's Rogue One). Two movies in, the great Star Wars renaissance has brought in more than $3 billion at the worldwide box office through global ticket sales alone, reigniting the passion many have for the material. Anticipation runs high for this December's The Last Jedi and 2018's untitled young Han Solo anthology.
Unlike Lucasfilm's fellow Disney brethren Marvel, the studio has not announced a massive slate of upcoming projects at this point in time. In fact, the last confirmed installment on the docket is Colin Trevorrow's Episode IX, which is aiming for a 2019 premiere. Because of this, several fans have been wondering what the future holds for the galaxy far, far away, especially with Disney CEO Bob Iger teasing the possibility for stories that go well into the 2030s. Now, the latest Star Wars rumors seem to reveal what Kathleen Kennedy and company have up their sleeves.
All of the following information comes from Star Wars News Net, and it's important for readers to take this all as rumor for now. The site's source for this report was the same one who suggested Last Jedi and/or Star Wars 9 would revisit some classic planets from the earlier episodes, like Tatooine and Mustafar. This is a far more comprehensive rundown of what Lucasfilm has planned following Episode IX, beginning with a long-awaited spinoff finally moving forward.
It would appear that the first standalone to hit theaters after Star Wars 9 is the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie that fans have been clamoring for ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm. Ewan McGregor, who played the Jedi in the prequel trilogy, has been very public in expressing his desire to return to the role should he be asked, and apparently the feeling is mutual. Kennedy "fully intends" to make an Obi-Wan spinoff set in the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, with McGregor obviously reprising the lead. One other bit of info is that for now, it is going to be a "singular" film, as opposed to a trilogy that was once speculated.
As for who might direct this one, Star Wars News Net has heard none other than Rogue One helmsman Gareth Edwards could be in the running, as Kennedy was pleased with his work on last year's blockbuster. While Edwards endured a rather tumultuous production process (due to the extensive reshoots that took place), the filmmaker still had a blast contributing to the Star Wars legacy and certainly has a love for the property. Edwards has even been vocal about his interest in an Obi-Wan film as something he'd like to see, so perhaps he knows more than he's letting on. It's rumored that Obi-Wan might be announced at Celebration 2017, which kicks off in a couple of weeks.
Moving on, another frequently rumored spinoff, one about infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett, is said to be "not dead," which will come as great news to fans of the Mandalorian. However, it's reported Fett will merely be a smaller cog in the larger machine of the picture, and not necessarily the primary focus. According to the source, this anthology is "an ensemble of bounty hunters on an adventure" where Boba is an "important component." This is probably for the best, as it allows Lucasfilm to use one of their most marketable characters for a new live-action film while also expanding the lore and mythology around him (without stripping Boba too much of his mystique). Another detail is that this bounty hunter film won't be an "origin story" for Boba Fett, which isn't all that surprising considering his beginnings were shown in Attack of the Clones and the ensuing Clone Wars animated series.
Lucasfilm is also working on another post-Episode IX spinoff, one that sounds a little different than anything else that's come before. It's said to "target the young-adult audience" and tell a story of a tragedy with a "love story angle." This may make some longtime fans wary, but the franchise canon has one strong comparison already in the form of Claudia Gray's acclaimed novel Lost Stars, which was marketed as a YA book and is seen by many as one of the best new Star Wars books. For those not in the know, Lost Stars revolved around childhood friends Thane Kyrell and Ciena Ree, who are torn apart from each other during the Galactic Civil War and develop a romantic relationship amidst the conflict. While this movie would not be a direct adaptation of Lost Stars, the main narrative is said to be "in the same vein." This could also be the "first major step" for a woman directing calling the shots on a new Star Wars movie - something many would be in support of.
This is a lot for fans to take in, and it would appear that these three films would expend a lot of energy out of Lucasfilm - so much so that they'd need to take a break afterwards. SWNN is also saying that Disney's plan is to put Star Wars movies on hiatus "after a few years after the end of the sequel trilogy" for two clear reasons. The first is that the studio is going to place a "big focus" on television in the near future, developing a new animated series to take the place of Rebels once that show concludes. Also, Lucasfilm isn't too keen on bombarding people with new Star Wars films every single year until the end of time (as was once reported), and they wish to "deliberately starve the market" in order to increase demand and avoid pesky franchise fatigue. Even die-hard fans have to feel this is a smart strategy, since it means Star Wars shouldn't run thin and its inevitable return will be a special event.
Finally, the last nugget of information is in regards to a fourth trilogy set in the Skywalker saga. Late last year, it was rumored that Star Wars 9 could be the end of that story, but Lucasfilm (spurred by the $2 billion gross of The Force Awakens) would like to continue it past Episode IX. However, there's going to be a little bit of a wait before Rey and friends come back for Star Wars 10. Keeping in line with franchise history, "there will be a gap between the sequel trilogy's end and the new trilogy's arrival." This is because, as Kennedy has stated, the episodic saga is a generational tale, so the forthcoming trio of episodes will likely be about the new faces that come after Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron. It wouldn't be shocking if Episode X was the first film out of the gate after the extended break following the Lost Stars-inspired film, trying to replicate the Force Awakens effect.
Again, it cannot be stressed enough that this is all rumor for now, and it remains to be seen what from this report is confirmed or denied. That said, it paints an exciting picture for the future of Star Wars and sounds reasonable enough to not dismiss as hearsay. In particular, the Obi-Wan and Boba Fett spinoffs have frequently popped up in discussions over the past few years, so this isn't anything drastically different from what's been said before. Celebration (and possible D23) should have some official reveals about Lucasfilm's upcoming plans, but even if all this is only partially true, they are handling their prized possession in a great way.
Source: Star Wars News Net
- 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