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How much is too much Star Wars? Disney preps new film every year forever

Star Wars Annie Leibovitz
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Disney has five Star Wars films officially planned through 2019, but that will not be the end of the film franchise’s comeback, which the movie studio hopes will extend long into the future to become more like the studio’s Marvel franchise, as recently detailed in a new report by Wired. As of now, Disney plans to release a new Star Wars film every year for the foreseeable future.

Super-fans of the iconic sci-fi franchise already know a good deal about the next few films. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in exactly one month, and will be followed up next year by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will be the first of Disney’s anthology film spinoffs, and will focus on the team that stole the plans for the Death Star between episodes III and IV of the franchise.

The next three planned releases are sequels, with 2017 and 2019 bringing sequels to The Force Awakens, and 2018 slated for the release of the second of the anthology films, which will allegedly focus on Han Solo. According to Wired’s latest report, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“The company intends to put out a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people will buy tickets,” writes Adam Rogers in his recent expose on the franchise, “Let me put it another way: If everything works out for Disney, and if you are (like me) old enough to have been conscious for the first Star Wars film, you will probably not live to see the last one. It’s the forever franchise.”

While that sounds a little hyperbolic, for now it’s a very profitable ideology for Disney to have. Having paid $4 billion for Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney is cross promoting its slate of planned films with the rights to video games such as the new Star Wars Battlefront, toys, and other memorabilia to maximize its return on the investment.

It’s very much the same model the company has used to promote its licensing rights to the Marvel Comics franchise, with 17 planned releases in the next decade and no end in sight.

However, in regards to Rogers’ comments, the company isn’t willing to share much about the future of Star Wars franchise past 2019 at this point. All we know is that there appears to be no plan to stop producing films until the well runs dry. It seems as though the company itself has no idea where the franchise will go after 2019.

Kathleen Kennedy, brand manager of Star Wars and longtime Stephen Spielberg collaborator, has no idea specifically how the films will continue beyond its already-planned releases, saying in an interview with Wired, “Oh my God, there is so much to get right. It’s by no means laid out beat for beat. I’ll borrow a line from Raiders of the Lost Ark: We’re making this up as we go.”

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Parker Hall
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Parker Hall is a writer and musician from Portland, OR. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin…
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