Lucasfilm is reportedly putting future installments of the Star Wars Story spinoff line on hold. When Disney acquired the studio, it was revealed that in addition to a sequel trilogy in the Skywalker saga, there would also be standalone anthology films that further fleshed out the universe and told narratives the mainline movies couldn't get into. The first of these, 2016's Rogue One, was a tremendous success, receiving widely positive reviews and grossing over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Unfortunately, the success of this initiative was short-lived.
Back in May, Lucasfilm released Solo: A Star Wars Story, their second spinoff. Despite receiving generally favorable reviews and featuring well-known characters from the lore, the film tanked at the box office. To date, it's earned just $341.9 million globally and will go down as the first Star Wars film to lose money. This unprecedented development led many to believe Lucasfilm would reevaluate their plans for the franchise, and it sounds like that's exactly what's happening.
According to Collider, Lucasfilm has pumped the brakes on in-development spinoffs and will instead concentrate their efforts on next December's Episode IX and plotting the course for the next trilogy after that. This means the long-rumored Obi-Wan film, which had director Stephen Daldry attached, has been shut down. James Mangold's Boba Fett spinoff will likely also be off the table in the wake of Solo's commercial performance.
Smartly, in retrospect, Lucasfilm never announced projects like Obi-Wan and Boba Fett, so they aren't pulling the plug on anything that was actually official. Works the studio has confirmed, such as Rian Johnson's new trilogy and David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' series are still actively in development, so it'll be interesting to see what becomes of them down the line. Lucasfilm has yet to schedule any release dates for Star Wars beyond Episode IX, but that will likely change in the near future. Star Wars Celebration takes place in April 2019, and that would be an ideal venue to reveal an upcoming slate and provide clarity on what's next for the galaxy far, far away. It's unknown if this trilogy Collider mentions is the same as Johnson's project (which is currently being worked on) or something else entirely, like an Episode X of the saga.
It is worth mentioning that Solo was largely undone by its ballooning production budget, which spiraled out of control to $250 million. If it had stayed on course and was made for its original price of $125 million, the spinoff would have turned a minor profit via worldwide grosses by now. That being said, its figures are nowhere near Rogue One or The Last Jedi, which made it seem like there isn't that large a market for spinoffs that focus on individual original trilogy characters. Perhaps, in order for Star Wars to thrive into the next decade, they need to let the past die and move forward with new stories that have no connection to the Skywalkers.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019