Solo: A Star Wars Story arrived in theaters last weekend, giving us an intimate look at how Han Solo came to be. The movie proved to be quite polarizing with Star Wars fans, but it can’t be denied that the movie was entertaining and featured some great scenes.
Now that Solo is in theaters, let’s look forward to when the next Star Wars movie will be released. Lucasfilm has meticulously planned out the first few years of the Star Wars movie roadmap after its re-launch in 2015, so it’s no surprise to know that the next Star Wars movie was set in stone a long time ago.
There is a good and bad news situation here. We are getting a new Star Wars movie in 2019 and it will be Star Wars: Episode IX, which will finish up the story arc set forth in The Force Awakens with Rey, Kylo Ren and the rest of the crew. Its title still hasn’t been revealed and we know even less about the plot, but we do know its release date: December 20, 2019.
That’s a long time away and it is a longer wait than we are accustomed to. From 2015 to 2017, a Star Wars movie was released in December of each year exactly one year apart. Those three movies were The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm changed gears with Solo, deciding to release it less than six months after the previous Star Wars movie in May of this year.
This provided an even shorter wait time (that may have inadvertently backfired) while creating a longer than usual wait time for the next Star Wars movie, which would be Episode IX.
The first two movies of new trilogy embraced the classic characters we love but also made sure we begin to move on. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are now dead and with the late Carrie Fisher’s passing, it may now only be a formality that Princess Leia will also be taking her leave from the franchise for good. Star Wars head Kathleen Kennedy has already stated Fisher won’t be returning for Episode IX, which means that everything will now fall on the shoulders of the newcomers that were introduced in The Force Awakens.
Conversely, Snoke was killed off in The Last Jedi, setting the stage for Rey to take on Kylo Ren—the newly established villain of the arc—in an epic Jedi duel when the next chapter arrives. If it comes anywhere close to the duel we got with Rey and Kylo taking on the Praetorian Guards, we’ll be very happy.
Like I mentioned before, not much is known about the plot of Episode IX. However, it has been speculated that there may be a time jump in the storyline. We’re not sure this will happen, though it would neatly tie up all the loose ends with Princess Leia and continue setting up the Resistance’s battle against the First Order.
What has been confirmed is that the main cast that includes Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata) are returning alongside The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. He was brought back by Kathleen Kennedy after original director Colin Trevorrow was let go due to creative differences.
What does this all mean? It means you should expect a concise story that incorporates key elements of Star Wars lore and a lot of lens flare. It will conclude the saga closely related to the Skywalkers and Solos, opening up Lucasfilm to go anywhere with the Star Wars movies. I, for one, am excited where it goes with the blank canvas.
Abrams masterfully led the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens and it should continue with Episode IX when it arrives in theaters in December 2019. Now we just have to wait 19 long months for it.