The only official release plans for Star Wars so far include The Force Awakens on December 18 of this year and the first spinoff/standalone film, which will hit theaters on December 16, 2016. As for the rest of the new Star Wars Films, it's been reported for a while that Disney plans on releasing a new film each year for the next several years, but the studio hasn't made anything publicly official...until now.
CEO Of Disney, Bob Iger, confirmed release plans for both Episodes 8 and 9 in a Disney shareholder report (Bob Iger to SWU Star Wars Underworld):
As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming….and one of the fewer who’s seen most of the footage…I can assure the millions of Star Wars fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait. And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional Star Wars storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with Episode IX in 2019.
If Episode 8 hits in 2017 and Episode 9 arrives in 2019, we can probably go ahead and assume that the second standalone film will hit theaters in between, in 2018. Fantastic Four director, Josh Trank has been hired for the second spinoff, although Disney has yet to release any further information. It's also previously been reported that Rian Johnson is directing Episode 8, which was confirmed by Johnson himself, but Disney has yet to make a formal announcement, which raises the question of how official Johnson's commitment is at this time.
Iger also mentions that the first standalone movie will be “based on these characters,” which—in the context of this quote—seems to indicate that the standalone film involves new characters introduced in ‘The Force Awakens.’ If so, that runs counter to previous rumors indicating that Gareth Edwards’ standalone project is either about young Han Solo, or a heist movie involving Boba Fett and other bounty hunters (or, according to another recent rumor, it involves both). Then again, Iger could just be referring to the ‘Star Wars’ universe in general. The statement isn’t specific.
The last thing to note from this report is Iger’s mention of finishing “this trilogy,” which could mean that Disney is already thinking about future ‘Star Wars’ trilogies, although it would be insanely early for them to do so.
Again, Iger’s statement isn’t specific, and the only real news here is the confirmation of release years (not even actual dates) for ‘Episode 8' and ‘Episode 9.’ It may still be a while before we learn anything else.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens arrives December 18th
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