Star Wars fans are feeling a disturbance in the Force after Disney indicated that the movie franchise will go on hiatus after the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the sci-fi saga will take a break from the big screen after the release of Episode IX in December, opting to focus on television projects instead of films for the near future. Iger described the pivot to the small screen as a “hiatus” in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
“We will take a pause, some time, and reset because the Skywalker saga comes to an end with this ninth movie,” he said. “There will be other Stars Wars movies, but there will be a bit of a hiatus.”
Evidence of franchise fatigue seemed to creep into the Star Wars universe after 2017’s Episode VIII – The Last Jedi was followed by Solo: A Star Wars Story just five months later, and the latter had one of the worst theatrical runs of any film in the saga. Both films were polarizing among Star Wars fans, and rumors began circulating that Disney had begun revisiting its plans for the franchise in response to the response they received.
“We have not announced any specific plans for movies thereafter,” Iger said of the studio’s post-Episode IX strategy. “There are movies in development, but we have not announced them.”
The turmoil on the big-screen side hasn’t prevented Disney from pushing forward with television projects.
Disney has already revealed an ambitious slate of television programming set in the Star Wars universe that will debut on its Disney Plus streaming platform later this year. That content includes the live-action series The Mandalorian, created by Jon Favreau and starring Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal. The series will be set after the events of Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and follow a mysterious character’s adventures in the outer rim of the galaxy.
Also announced for Disney Plus is a prequel series set before the events of anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk, who will reprise their roles as Rebel spy Cassian Andor and droid K-2SO. The studio will also return to the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and deliver a new, seventh season of the critically acclaimed show, which was set between the events of Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to hit theaters December 20.
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