We're only a month away from the theatrical release of The Last Jedi, and fan excitement really couldn't be higher. But Lucasfilm is looking far beyond this year's movie, and beyond even next year's Solo anthology film. Instead, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy recently revealed that they're working on the next decade's worth of movies.
Speaking on "The Star Wars Show," Kennedy also gave us an idea of just what that may involve. It seems the story of our beloved Galaxy Far, Far Away is set to continue...
The Importance Of The Sequel Trilogy
According to Kennedy, Lucasfilm is planning "future stories beyond Episode IX, with these new characters: Rey, Poe, Finn, BB8..."
Until this quote, fans had assumed that the close of the Sequel Trilogy would end the ongoing story of the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Instead, we'd feared that Lucasfilm would focus solely on the popular anthology films, piloted with the release of last year's Rogue One. As enjoyable as the anthologies may be, they're set against the sweeping backdrop of the main Star Wars Saga. They don't continue the narrative; they just add depth and diversity to it.
The Sequel Trilogy, however, is very different. It continues the grand, overarching narrative of the Galaxy Far, Far Away. It sees all the main stars reprise their dearly loved roles, including the late, great Carrie Fisher. And evidence is building that it's designed to tie together every thread from the Prequels through to the present day. Fans had become increasingly concerned that the ongoing story was over.
Beyond The Sequel Trilogy
That makes Kennedy's comment tremendously exciting for Star Wars fans. It looks as though the Sequel Trilogy is itself a launchpad for the future of the Star Wars franchise. It establishes characters and concepts that will be the basis of the next wave of films. Notice that Kennedy excitedly refers to Rey, Finn, Poe, and even BB8. The clear expectation is that these heroes' stories will not be completed by the end of the Sequels.
It makes sense that Lucasfilm is working that out now. The script for Episode IX is currently being rewritten by J. J. Abrams and Chris Terrio, and Abrams was chosen to helm the project in large part because he's seen as a "safe pair of hands." Lucasfilm needed someone they could trust, someone who could help them decide the future shape of the Star Wars galaxy. The script will set the main characters in place for their future stories.
In planning a decade ahead, it's worth pointing out that Kennedy and her team are envisioning a very different world. When Episode IX releases, the three trilogies will comprise 75 percent of the Star Wars movies. By the time we're a decade down the road, they'll only comprise 37.5 percent of the total Star Wars films. In a decade's time, Lucasfilm will be marketing films towards fans who fell in love with the Star Wars concept through Rey, Finn, and Poe, rather than through Luke, Han, and Leia. The franchise will have taken on a very different shape.
Given that context, by the end of the decade we should really be expecting to see anthology films set during the Sequel Trilogy era itself. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is playing the long game. Not content with relaunching this dearly loved franchise, she's working on a vision that will secure its long-term future. The stories she plans to tell will take us beyond #EpisodeIX, and allow us to see just what becomes of our heroes and their legacy.