LucasFilm head Kathleen Kennedy has repeatedly emphasized that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be the ninth and final assignment in the Skywalker family saga. Presumably, that means Episode IX will be the final outing for not just for those who bear the surname like Luke, Leia and Kylo but also other characters who are (allegedly) not related to the Skywalker clan: Rey, Finn and Poe.
Footage shown at D23 of the new movie showed Rey and Kylo fighting each other on a crashing ship and, later, Rey in a black cloak with a red, double lightsaber that looks a lot like the one that Darth Maul used in the prequels. That could be a signal that Rey moves to the Dark Side — or a fakeout.
What, exactly, comes next for the Star Wars universe? Disney won’t stop making movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away: After all, the studio paid $4 billion for the rights to George Lucas’ brainchild. But the studio’s previous plan to continue to churn out prequels and spinoffs (like Rogue One and Solo) has been put on hold after Solo delivered disappointing returns at the box office. (It made $392.8 million globally but that proved an unsatisfactory profit for a movie that, after a director shakeup and reshoots, reportedly cost almost $300 million to film.) So, sorry, Boba Fett fans, but an origin story for that particular bounty hunter looks to be scuttled.
Based on Disney’s release schedule, it looks like audiences will get a break from the Star Wars universe for a few years — at least on the big screen. The studio has offered Last Jedi director Rian Johnson the opportunity to make a trilogy of new movies based on the Star Wars universe but populated by entirely new characters and creatures. They’ve also handed over another non-Skywalker trilogy to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones.
Meanwhile, the Star Wars universe will live continue on the small screen: Disney has announced at least two Star Wars TV series, one centered on a Mandalorian who hails from the same planet as Boba Fett, and another centered on Rogue One character Cassian Andor. And the animated series Clone Wars will finally get a conclusion on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+.
Here are all the Star Wars TV shows and movies in the works.
Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on a new trilogy
LucasFilm announced that Rian Johnson would work on three new Star Wars films before Last Jedi was even released. The studio has remained mum on the plot for the series or when it might hit theaters. And a racist, misogynist, troll-fueled Last Jedi backlash called into question whether Johnson’s new films would move forward. But in August of last year, the director confirmed that, yes, the movies are still in the works.
A Star Wars trilogy from the creators of Game of Thrones (TBA)
Hot off a controversial Game of Thrones finale, creators Benioff and Weiss are headed to another fantastical world. The two will create yet another Star Wars trilogy that has nothing to do with either the Skywalker family or whatever characters that Johnson is dreaming up. Thus far, Star Wars has largely mined audience’s nostalgia for success. The creators are not always successful (see: Solo), but what’s even riskier is placing bets on a whole new set of characters utterly unconnected to the battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Johnson, Benioff and Weiss will all test the limits of Star Wars fans’ excitement for new stories.
The Mandalorian (Nov. 12, 2019)
Jon Favreau has become something of a Disney staple: After he directed 2008’s Iron Man, launching the massive Marvel franchise that Disney would go on to buy, Favreau has helmed The Jungle Book and The Lion King for the studio. Now, he’ll try his hand at TV. Favreau is creating and writing the first live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian. It will star Pedro Pascal, the actor who won over the hearts of Game of Thrones fans as Oberyn Martell.
Pascal plays a lone gunfighter who hails from Mandalor, Boba Fett’s home planet (and they wear similar armor). He is operating at the far reaches of the galaxy sometime between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens. The full cast includes Werner Herzog, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, Taika Waititi, Gina Carano and Nick Nolte.
A Rogue One prequel will premiere on Disney+ (TBA)
Diego Luna will reprise his Rogue One role as Cassian Andor for this new spinoff series about his character. Spoiler alert: Cassian and his Rebel compatriots all died at the end of Rogue One. So we know where this series is headed. But before Cassian bravely met his fate, he was a spy, and the new show will be an “espionage thriller” that follows Cassian on missions to destabilize the empire. Alan Tudyk will also return as K-2SO.
A Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show
Ewan McGregor took the stage at Disney’s D23 conference to announce that he will reprise his role as the Jedi in a spinoff TV series that will premiere on Disney+. Kennedy and McGregor said that the scripts are complete, and while there isn’t a premiere date set for the show yet, it will begin to film in 2020.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series
Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated series set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith (Episodes II and III), ran from 2008 to 2014 but was cancelled before it got a proper ending. Disney has revived the series for its streaming service, Disney+ and Creator Dave Filoni is making 12 new episodes to wrap up the story. Lucas has maintained for years that the animated series is, indeed, canon.