Ever since Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012, there's been a near constant stream of Star Wars news and content. New books and comics are released on a near weekly basis, Star Wars Rebels has just been renewed for a fourth season, we're getting a new Star Wars episode every other year, and Star Wars spin-off movies are happening in the years in between. It's a good time to be a Star Wars fan.
While most official Star Wars news, comes directly from Lucasfilm through press releases, The Star Wars Show on YouTube, posts StarWars.com, or a variety of other official channels, one of the biggest moments in Star Wars for the past few years has been Star Wars celebration. Celebration started primarily a fan event where people that love Star Wars can get together to celebrate their appreciation for a galaxy far, far away, but more recently it's also become a primary source of major announcements for upcoming projects, especially the movies. Some of the first Rogue One footage was revealed last year, the first Episode VIII trailer is expected this year, and there's usually screenings of the first few episodes of upcoming seasons of Star Wars Rebels.
This year's Star Wars Celebration is in mid-April in Orlando Florida, but according to a recent announcement on the official Celebration website, the next Celebration won't be until sometime in 2019 at a yet-to-be-specified time and place.
The post doesn't give any explanation or reason for why Celebration is skipping a year, but Celebration 2017 will be the first time the event has occurred for 3 consecutive years. The first 3 fan events coincided with the releases of each of the prequels in 1999, 2002, and 2005, but since then they have been fairly sporadic, and the closest thing to a "normal" Celebration schedule has been biennial events. With the episodic installments occurring in 2017, 2019, and 2021, it's possible that Celebration is going to go back to the same model followed by the first three, coincidentally happening every other year under Disney. 2018 also marks the first May release for the new generation of Star Wars films, after December releases for The Force Awakens and Rogue One, so it's possible that's also a factor.
Because of Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm has had a much smaller presence at San Diego Comic-Con and other events, so more than likely Star Wars will simply have a bigger presence on that front. The alternative is a dearth of official releases at fan events, meaning Lucafilm could be even tighter on spoilers for Episode IX than it was for The Force Awakens, which could make sense considering the potential significance of that installment, but it's all frankly speculation at this point.
For now, Star Wars Celebration Orlando is almost a month away, meaning there's only a few more weeks to go before we can start watching an official trailer for The Last Jedi on repeat.
- 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
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019