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What’s next for Star Wars after The Last Jedi?

by Danny Zepeda | December 24, 2017December 24, 2017 8:00 am PST

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally here, and it arrived triumphantly. We waited two years to see what happens to Luke, Rey and Kylo Ren, and we’ve got our answer—for better or worse. The stage has been set up nicely for the next movie revolving around the Skywalker saga.

Naturally, it’s time to look forward to what is next for Star Wars. Leading up to The Last Jedi, there was a lot of talk about the future of movies set in this universe beyond the upcoming standalone Solo: A Star Wars Story movie and Episode IX.

Disney and Lucasfilm have gone out of their way to set a concrete plan of movies for the next decade. It’s a long and sordid list, so we thought we’d round up all of the official news and rumors and piece together a roadmap Star Wars movies you can expect for the next few years and beyond. Let’s start with the next Star Wars movies that arriving faster than you can say, Millennium Falcon.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

  • Release date: May 25, 2018
  • Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller (Ron Howard reshoots)
  • Status: Post-production

Solo: A Star Wars Story is hitting theaters in less than six months. That’s the fastest turnaround between two Star Wars movies. The Han Solo anthology follows in the steps of Rogue One, telling a story set within the main Skywalker storyline. In theory, this was the perfect Star Wars movie to make; who doesn’t want to know about Han Solo’s past?

Unfortunately, the production hit a major snag with the firing of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller by producer Kathleen Kennedy, but Ron Howard was brought along to save the day. The movie features all kinds of talent with Alden Ehrenreich playing the titular character of Han Solo and Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover rounding out the impressive cast.

We’re not sure what plot points the movie will touch upon other than exploring Han Solo’s backstory. This will hopefully involve seeing how he first met Chewie, came across the Millennium Falcon and made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

Star Wars Episode IX

  • Release date: December 20, 2019
  • Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Status: Pre-production

The final installment of the new Star Wars trilogy exploring the Skywalker storyline will be Episode IX. So far, it’s going by the production name “Black Diamond,” but we haven’t the faintest idea of what the final title will be.

Just like Solo, Episode IX ran into some problems with its director. Kathleen Kennedy had to step in again and part ways with director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World). This paved the way for J.J. Abrams to return after reviving the franchise from its dormant status with The Force Awakens in 2015.

Episode IX will take place after the events in The Last Jedi, picking up on the storylines of Rey, Poe, Finn and Kylo Ren. We’re not sure if Luke or Leia will return; their status is up in the air (Luke with his storyline and Leia with the late Carrie Fisher’s passing).

Hopefully, we’ll continue to see more kick-ass Jedi duels like what we just saw in the latest installment. This is the last confirmed Jedi movie on deck for Star Wars roadmap. We’re sure more movies will get made from here, but nothing is guaranteed, so enjoy it while it lasts.

We’ll have to wait two more years to see what J.J. Abrams comes up with, but judging from his work with Episode VII, we’re in good hands.

Rian Johnson standalone trilogy

  • Release date: Unknown (2020 at the earliest)
  • Director: Rian Johnson
  • Status: Announced (not yet in pre-production)

As you may have noticed, Lucasfilm has had an issue with directors. But that was not the case with The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. Even before Episode VIII hit theaters, Lucasfilm announced a standalone Star Wars trilogy led by Johnson was happening.

The new trilogy won’t be connected to the Skywalker storyline or the Star Wars Story spin-offs that have been made. Instead, Johnson will explore new stories inside the Star Wars universe. Each movie will be a standalone movie and won’t have any bearing on any other film that Johnson makes.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said she can’t wait to see what Johnson creates “with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.” That’s a ringing endorsement.

Seeing as there are few details about the movies, no timetable has been set for a release date. The schedule opens up after Episode IX hits theaters in 2019, so 2020 could be the earliest we’d the first film in Johnson’s Star Wars trilogy. If not, then that would mark the first time since 2015 that we won’t get a new Star War movie during a consecutive calendar year.

Regardless, Johnson will be making Star Wars movies well into the 2020s. The question now is, will other directors be doing the same?

Obi-Wan Kenobi anthology movie

  • Release date: Unknown
  • Director: Stephen Daldry (early talks)
  • Status: Early development

Earlier this year, a report from The Hollywood Reporter surfaced revealing that Lucasfilm was in the early stages of developing an Obi-Wan Kenobi anthology movie. Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Daldry (The Hours) was Disney’s first choice to direct the project, overseeing the development and script of the movie. At the time, a script for the movie was not ready.

In the subsequent weeks, there have been no updates about the movie. We’re not sure if the plans were scrapped or just kept tightly under wraps. Will it still happen? Your guess is as good as ours, but it is an intriguing project for Disney.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the best known and beloved Star Wars characters. His storyline would explore both the backstory of an important Jedi figure and slightly expand upon the side story set in the Skywalker overarching plot. That would be very easy for Disney to sell.

It’s still not clear if Ewan McGregor will return to reprise his role from the prequel trilogy in some capacity. His return would be quite welcomed. Although the prequel trilogy isn’t looked upon fondly, his performance was one of the highlights.

If another Star Wars anthology movie is greenlit, this one will be it. It just makes too much sense for it not to happen.

Beyond: Episode X and more anthology movies

Here’s where the picture gets a little murky. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy came out and stated that they are planning the next decade of Star Wars movies. That includes The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Episode IX, the Rian Johnson trilogy and likely the Obi-Wan movie. In total, that’s seven Star Wars movies on deck for Disney, but that still leaves room for other movies to be made.

Here are some possible options to be considered. Keep in mind that there had been no talk of these movies getting made. They’re just our guesses for possible options Lucasfilm may explore in the future.

  • Boba Fett anthology movie: This movie was going to be made until Josh Trank failed miserably with the Fantastic 4 reboot. Lucasfilm decided to scrap the project he was developing and it slowly faded out of our memory. Making this the next anthology movie would be the most logical move.
  • Star Wars Episode X: I know Disney has stated Episode IX will be the last movie of the new trilogy, but when these movies are making billions of dollars, it hard to ignore that. It would also be much more fitting for the main Star Wars movie arc to end on a round number like ten.
  • Yoda anthology movie: We’re purely guessing at this point, but Yoda is Yoda and we’d love to learn more about him. Exploring more about Yoda’s backstory and the Jedi would make for a interesting canvas to develop more Star Wars movies.

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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