Now that Solo: A Star Wars Story is out in theaters, fans are wondering when the next franchise spinoff will be announced. As many know by now, Star Wars isn't just the Skywalker saga anymore. Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm opened the doors for annual cinematic releases, with the studio alternating between episodes of the sequel trilogy and standalone anthologies. While both Rogue One and Solo have strong ties to the original trilogy, they operate as their own stories and help flesh the universe out, adding new details that enrich the previous films.
Lucasfilm has confirmed plans for Rian Johnson's new trilogy and a series from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, both of which will be entirely separate from the Skywalker story. However, the studio reportedly continues to look at the past as inspiration for upcoming films. An Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff from director Stephen Daldry was supposedly in the pipeline last year, and just recently word got out that James Mangold is calling the shots on a Boba Fett movie. However, Lucasfilm itself has yet to make any of these official, so when will they make announcements?
As evidenced by their Johnson Trilogy and Benioff/Weiss reveals, there's no real rhyme or reason to when Lucasfilm will confirm new movies. Any of these could be put on the slate at any time. However, if we were to try to pinpoint a date, Star Wars Celebration 2019 seems like the most plausible scenario. While Episode IX will certainly be the center of attention at the convention, the sequel trilogy finale is the last remaining Star Wars movie with a premiere date. Sooner or later, Lucasfilm is going to have to schedule the numerous projects they have in the pipeline. A panel dedicated to the future of Star Wars movies that announces "Phase 2" would be a smart move.
Lucasfilm has Indiana Jones 5 on the docket for July 2020, but a while ago there were rumblings they eventually wanted to up their output to two (or more) movies per year. If Kathleen Kennedy still wants to make that a reality, then announcements are going to have to come sooner rather than later. It's conceivable a Star Wars entry hits theaters at some point in 2020 (though available release windows are becoming limited), but it would have to enter production in early 2019 in order for that to happen. Rumors point to Obi-Wan shooting at Pinewood next spring, though of course Lucasfilm has been mum on this for the time being. Perhaps they're waiting to see how Solo performs with audiences before adding more Star Wars Stories to the calendar. If no announcements are made by the end of 2018, we can effectively consider 2020 to be a Star Wars free year (which wouldn't be the worst thing).
There's no telling what movie will follow Episode IX. Right now, Boba Fett (which has been in the works for a while) is actually further along than Obi-Wan with Mangold and Simon Kinberg co-writing a script. Rian Johnson is just starting work on his trilogy too, ironing out the story before forging further ahead. Kennedy has even talked about a possible Lando spinoff with Donald Glover and Alden Ehrenreich has a multi-picture contract for more turns as Han Solo. With everything in the pipeline, some announcements are surely on the horizon. Celebration 2019 (which runs in April of that year) is the latest we would expect something.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019