Star Wars: Rogue One has launched this weekend and it is safe to say it is a major success. The question many will be asking, “What does this mean for the Star Wars franchise?” At the time of this writing the Star Wars theatrical franchise is safe until 2019 with a film slated for 2020 but what that film will be…well we’ll get into it soon.
Before we get into the future of the Star Wars films let me provide you with a brief rundown of what’s to come in the next three years:
- Untitled Star Wars Episode VIII (2017)
- Untitled Han Solo film (2018)
- Untitled Episode IX (2019)
- Unknown Anthology film (2020)
Yes I did actually include the next four years but that is because we know we will get an anthology Star Wars film in 2020 because of the success of Rogue One.
Since Disney launched the new trilogy–Episodes VII-IX–they have employed the strategy of releasing standalone anthology films in between the Episodes. This gives filmmakers plenty of time to shoot and compose the next Episodic film and also gives audiences their yearly fill of Star Wars without any time off. This is incredible because the last time audiences were in theaters (before Episode VII) was to see the disappointing CGI animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Most may not remember or even went to see the glorified animated television movie and may only remember seeing Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in theaters in 2005. Depending on your choices, you had not seen Star Wars in theaters for either eight or eleven years and everyone had not seen a live action Star Wars film for the latter.
In 2015 that all changed with the launch of the sequel trilogy to the very original trilogy that debuted in 1977, 38 years after Star Wars initial theatrical debut. Audiences went from only watching Star Wars on the small screen (The Clone Wars) to eventually seeing a new Star Wars movie every year for the next six years.
Rogue One marks the first time audiences will see a standalone film that has ties to the Episodes but is not directly a part of them. This standalone film is winning big with fans and critics alike and will most likely see a massive opening weekend at the box office. So with the end of the new trilogy three years away what does that mean for the future of the Star Wars films that have only known the Episodic saga until now?
In a recent EW interview, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said, “I have to honestly tell you, could we [do nothing but standalones]? Sure. But I don’t know. We are looking at all of that.”
This tells me two things: Episode IX is possibly not the end to the Skywalker saga and standalone films are not a done deal. First, let’s get into the potentials of what may come next in 2020 since we know we’re getting some kind of Star Wars film.
2020: Boba Fett Film
2020 was initially going to see the long dreamed of Boba Fett film about the iconic bounty hunter. Boba Fett is not to be confused with his father Jango Fett. Bobba was a child in Episode II whereas Jango, his father, was an adult. Audiences see Boba as an adult in Episodes IV-VI.
Josh Trank (Chronicle, Fantastic Four) was an up and coming director who was tapped to helm the Boba Fett film for 2020 and Disney nearly created some teaser footage for Star Wars Celebration 2015. Trank had a falling out with 20th Century Fox over creative differences with the recent Fantastic Four (2015) film and then promptly dropped out of Disney’s Boba Fett film.
Is a Boba Fett film still possible in 2020? Yes it is possible but many have forgotten such a project existed and are now setting their hopes and dreams on something bigger.
2020: Obi-Wan Kenobi Trilogy
Fans are now rumbling of either a standalone Obi-Wan film or a potential trilogy (thanks to Obi-Wan himself, Ewan McGregor). Considering how beloved the character is a trilogy seems more likely. This would make Disney and fans full and satisfied until possibly 2024.
Earlier this year, McGregor was asked in an interview whether he had talked with Kennedy about returning for an Obi-Wan film since he actually has a small voice part in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Watch the video below to see what he has to say.
Many are speculating that Disney is holding off announcing an Obi-Wan film or trilogy for 2020 due to the possibility he may actually pop up in some capacity in the current trilogy and they want to keep it a mystery whether he will or not. Other fans are guessing Obi-Wan may actually be Rey’s father, which would be a mind-blowing revelation. Disney’s official stance is they want to see how well Rogue One does before they start making promises of more standalones or trilogies.
I would love to see Obi-Wan return for the current trilogy and for his own trilogy in 2020. Cont’d on next page…