Lucasfilm has needed to dramatically alter their plans for 2020, and that could be for the best moving forward. When Disney acquired the studio back in 2012, it was announced Lucasfilm would release annual tentpoles, similar to their Mouse House brethren Pixar and Marvel. The first few years of the Star Wars renaissance went about as well as anyone could have hoped, with The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi combining to gross more than $4 billion at the worldwide box office. However, the hot streak came to a screeching halt this summer when Solo failed commercially.
In the aftermath of this unprecedented event, Lucasfilm is apparently taking their foot off the gas pedal so they can reevaluate some things before launching a new slate. Rumors suggest future spinoffs like Obi-Wan and Boba Fett have been put on hold for the time being, while officially announced projects like Rian Johnson's new trilogy continue to forge ahead. At one point, Lucasfilm was set to celebrate the start of a new decade in style, but now they could be sitting 2020 on the sidelines.
What Were Lucasfilm's 2020 Plans?
Lucasfilm never confirmed a Star Wars movie for 2020, but the general assumption for a while was that a third entry in the anthology series would hit the big screen that year. The much-speculated Obi-Wan spinoff was deemed the likeliest candidate, especially when word got out it was aiming to begin production in spring 2019. Last year, this particular project started to gain traction when director Stephen Daldry reportedly became attached, and Obi-Wan received the working title Joshua Tree, indicating it was far along in pre-production.
What Disney and Lucasfilm did have on the schedule, however, was Indiana Jones 5. A fifth adventure for the world famous archeologist was announced back in 2016 (with Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford back in the fold), originally for a 2019 release. It was later delayed to July 2020, which made the possibility of a Star Wars movie that year less likely. Lucasfilm never premiered new Star Wars and Indy installments in the same year, so a prevailing theory was that Indiana Jones 5 was going to be the studio's big 2020 tentpole and keep the machine chugging while they plotted the next course for the galaxy far, far away. Unfortunately, things aren't going to turn out this way due to a variety of factors.
Staying with Indiana Jones 5, it was recently reported the film is going to be delayed for an undetermined period, likely causing it to miss its 2020 debut. The reasoning for this seems to stem from the script, which was originally written by longtime Spielberg collaborator David Koepp. Apparently, the higher-ups aren't fans of what he turned in, calling upon Solo co-writer Jonathan Kasdan to replace Koepp and pen the screenplay. Because of the difficulties cracking the story, Lucasfilm is opting to take their time, which is a smart call. Spielberg and Ford are said to remain committed, though Spielberg may move on to one of his many other in-development projects in the interim. As of now, Indiana Jones 5 is still going to happen, it's just a matter of when the time is right.
As for Star Wars, the situation is fairly more complex. Obi-Wan was allegedly going through problems even before Solo tanked at the box office, losing Daldry long ago. There's even word that it was being saved for Disney's streaming service, so it may never have intended to be a theatrical tentpole to begin with. Boba Fett may become a smaller-budgeted film to reflect Solo's worldwide gross, though it's difficult to say what is and isn't accurate about these films since Lucasfilm has always remained silent on this front. Even if more individual character spinoffs eventually movie forward, it doesn't look like anything will be ready to take that 2020 slot. And that may not be the worst thing in the world.
Page 2: Lucasfilm Could Use A Break
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019