With the recent release of Star Wars Episode VII, the force has awakened big time. As of this posting the movie has surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales globally and currently holds the record for biggest opening ever with $529 million globally. The Star Wars franchise is quickly becoming a juggernaut of a machine that has no signs of slowing down thanks to Disney, which purchased LucasFilm back in 2012. Many fans have been asking how long they will have to wait for Episode VIII…the answer is not long. In fact, Disney has Star Wars films lined up to release every year, for the next four years. Let’s get to the list and everything we know so far.
- Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One – December 16th, 2016
This is the next film in the Star Wars lineup and it actually won’t include any of the recent characters we’ve just been introduced to such as Rey, Finn or Kylo Ren. Instead, the story here will focus on the group of rebels that stole the original Death Star plans and how they came into Princess Leia’s possession in Episode IV A New Hope. The movie is currently filming and is being directed by Gareth Edwards. As you can imagine details of the film are locked down tight but a few of the cast listed so far are Mads Mikkelsen, Felicity Jones, Donnie Yen and Forrest Whitaker. Peter Cushing is also said to be in the film. That’s right, Grand Moff Tarkin himself. Cushing has been deceased since 1994 but will apparently be inserted into the film using CGI.
- Star Wars Episode VIII – May 26th, 2017
Just five months after Rouge one we’ll see Episode VIII which currently has no official title. The film is being directed by Rian Johnson who did 2012’s Looper with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. He has also directed several episodes of the popular series “Breaking Bad.” All of the cast from The Force Awakens are expected to return as the film will be continuing the story. Mark Hamil is expected to have a bigger role reprising his character of Luke Skywalker and even Harrison Ford is rumored to possibly have a returning role. Benicio Del Toro was also just officially cast in a villain role. Principal filming is expected to begin in January 2016.
- Star Wars Anthology: Young Han Solo Story – May 25th, 2018
One year after Episode VIII, we can expect a currently untitled film based around a young Han Solo. The film will focus on a young Han and just how he became a smuggler and eventually met Luke and Obi-Wan in that cantina on Mos Eisley. President of LucasFilm, Kathleen Kennedy recently discussed her thoughts on how to make the film work.
“I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo’s life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all grown to love. We don’t want to spend time going back and answering a lot of questions that, quite frankly, I don’t think people want answered.”
Phil Lord and Chris Miller are currently set to share the directors’ chair on this one. Together they have directed and written Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie. They have also directed both 21 and 22 Jump Street. A young Han has yet to be cast.
- Star Wars: Episode IX – 2019
Very little is currently known about Episode IX other than it is expected to conclude the trilogy that started with the recent release of The Force Awakens. Colin Trevorrow who directed the very popular Jurassic World is slated to be at the helm on this one. Lawrence Kasdan who has been a long-serving screenwriter for the Star Wars franchise did have this to say regarding the end of the trilogy,
“We talked about [the ending] — and there’s a certain thing that people who are involved with it feel should happen. There’s a kind of movement that happens. But it’s not in your control. It’s going to veer off with Rian, and it’s going to veer off another way with Colin.”
- Star Wars Anthology: Boba Fett – 2020
This film was actually originally slated to release in the slot that the Young Han Solo movie is currently listed for. It was bumped to a 2020 release due to Josh Trank leaving the director’s chair to “pursue some original creative opportunities” according to LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy. If you’ll remember Josh Trank directed the most recent Fantastic Four film which turned out to be a bomb at the box office and he openly blamed the studio involved for the poor reviews due to changes they imposed during filming. When asked if the project was still alive, Kathleen Kennedy had this to say,
“It’s still one of the stories that we absolutely want to tell. There is a lot of innovative technology in and around what it is we’re doing with that story, so for a lot of reasons, we were comfortable postponing that. But we’re definitely still developing it. We’re trying to get to a point where we’re never rushing for anything.”
There you have it, details on the next four years of Star Wars films. Are you excited with what Disney is doing with the franchise or are they going too far? Are they making a mistake trying to cast a young Han Solo? Be sure to let us know in the comments below and check back for future Star Wars news. May the force be with you.