Following reports that the next Star Wars movie hasn't been chosen, it's now suggested that whatever is selected may be announced in January 2020 at the earliest. The Star Wars franchise is entering an interesting phase as the Skywalker Saga comes to an end. December's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will complete the decades-spanning story and allow the franchise to move onto something new, whatever that may end up being. A hiatus for Star Wars films is already planned, while the franchise puts down roots on Disney+ through a bunch of planned shows, starting with The Mandalorian.
The creative path forward for Star Wars has undergone several changes since the franchise returned to the big screen in 2015. Under the Disney umbrella, there were plans for multiple trilogies following the end of the Skywalker Saga in addition to spin-off films. However, those plans have steadily fallen apart after Solo: A Star Wars Story, with the spin-off films being scrapped and the creators of one trilogy, Game of Thrones' David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, stepping away. Meanwhile, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will produce a film for the franchise, and Rian Johnson (director of the divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi) is still expected to create a trilogy.
While discussing the future of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, THR revealed there are no planned film announcements until January - at the earliest. This seems to be referring to the undecided film that already has a release date set for December 2022. Many have speculated that the 2022 film is part of Johnson's new trilogy, but this new report says that is not the case. A director is reportedly already lined up, and it isn't Johnson.
Kennedy's future with Lucasfilm is uncertain as her contract is up in 2021. She has been in charge of the franchise since before 2015's The Force Awakens and is largely responsible for its creative decisions. While she has shepherded the franchise to great financial and critical success, some fans have expressed displeasure with the direction in which Star Wars has gone under her and Disney's leadership. The planned hiatus is to give executives time to solidify their way forward and combat potential franchise fatigue.
The next Star Wars film being announced in January feels sooner than expected, but is also not surprising. By that point, The Rise of Skywalker will have been out in the world for at least a month, likely leaving fans with the question of "What's next?" Plus, with movies these days being announced several years in advance, Disney likely wants to get the hype started for 2022. There is also a chance that the announcement could get pushed back if Kennedy and other executives cannot come to a decision, but odds are they will want to decide something sooner than later so that Star Wars films don't stay out of the public eye for longer than necessary.