A long time ago, in our very own galaxy, there was just a Star Wars movie franchise.
George Lucas’ sci-fi saga has expanded in some big ways in recent years, with various spinoff films, television series, and expansions of the core series currently in the works. Given how many projects have been announced — particularly since Disney acquired Star Wars studio Lucasfilm in 2012 — keeping track of what’s on the horizon in the Star Wars universe can be a daunting task.
To that end, we’ve compiled all the Star Wars movies and television series you can look forward to in the near future, listed in the order you can expect to see them.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)
The saga’s famous shoot-first smuggler gets his own live-action feature in this Star Wars spinoff film that chronicles Han Solo’s early years and his adventures prior to meeting Obi-Wan Kenobi and a whiny farmboy in the Mos Eisley Cantina. The film casts Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, and will also explore the origins of Han’s friendship with Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, with Donald Glover portraying the latter character.
Original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller parted ways with the film in June 2017 citing “creative differences” with Lucasfilm, and were quickly replaced by two-time Academy Award winner Ron Howard behind the camera. How much of Lord and Miller’s trademark humor was retained in the final cut is one of the big questions surrounding Solo, which might also reveal how Han made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2018)
This animated series premiered in July 2017 and follows many of the female characters from the Star Wars universe — including Rey, Leia Organa, Jyn Erso, and Padmé Amidala, among others — through adventures that will shape their destinies and put them on the paths familiar to their fans. A single season of 16 episodes was released on Disney’s YouTube channel, with several episodes then broadcast on the Disney Channel. Another eight episodes will be released at some point in 2018.
The kid-friendly series’ relatively simple, two-dimensional animation turned off some fans, but the spotlight it cast on some of Star Wars’ most popular female characters earned it praise from critics and audiences — and spawned a new toy line — after its first season. With each episode only running two or three minutes, Forces of Destiny offers a bite-size sample of the deeper Star Wars universe that doesn’t require a considerable time investment.
Star Wars: Episode IX (December 20, 2019)
Little is known about the plot of Episode IX, and even the official title of the film is a closely guarded secret at this point. We do know, however, that Episode VII – The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams is back behind the camera for the conclusion of the new trilogy he kick-started back in 2015. Given how few of the original trilogy’s characters are able to play a role in this chapter of the saga, no one quite knows what to expect from Episode IX beyond a passing of the torch from the old guard to the new cast of colorful characters introduced in The Force Awakens and last year’s Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.
Abrams’ return to the franchise wasn’t always the plan, as he took over the director’s chair from Colin Trevorrow when the latter filmmaker exited due to (wait for it …) creative differences with the studio. The film got a re-write under Abrams, and it remains to be seen whether some of the less-traditional themes introduced in 2017’s The Last Jedi will carry over to Episode IX with the more traditionally-minded Abrams at the helm.
Untitled live-action series (2019?)
A live-action Star Wars television series has been one of the franchise’s longstanding rumored, but never fully realized projects, dating back more than a decade. That appears likely to change soon as Disney has recruited Iron Man and The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau to write and produce a live-action series for Disney’s forthcoming streaming video platform. There’s no word yet on the series’ setting or official premiere date, but with the platform expected to launch in 2019, reports indicate that the Star Wars series could be one of its big selling points early on.
Favreau has always been a geek-friendly filmmaker, and he’s no stranger to the Star Wars universe after voicing characters in both animated series and live-action movies over the years. Now he has the opportunity to turn fans’ dreams of a live-action Star Wars series into reality.
Rian Johnson’s spinoff trilogy (TBD)
Lucasfilm was so enamored with writer-director Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII – the Last Jedi that the studio tapped him to work on an entirely new trilogy outside the episodic Star Wars franchise. Little is known about the setting — or expected release date — of Johnson’s trilogy at this point, but it’s reported to focus on characters who have little or no connection to the Skywalker bloodline.
Given how polarizing The Last Jedi was, one thing seems certain: A full trilogy steeped in Johnson’s convention-defying take on the Star Wars universe will give audiences plenty to talk about.
The Game of Thrones creators’ series (TBD)
In February 2018, Lucasfilm announced that Game of Thrones television series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will write and produce yet another series of Star Wars movies set outside the episodic films. There’s no official word on how many films Benioff and Weiss will work on, but these films too will be separate from Johnson’s trilogy and positioned within their own corner of the Star Wars universe.
Rumored projects …
The subject of the third Star Wars spinoff movie has been the focus of countless rumors, but signs seem to point to Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi getting his own feature at some point down the road. With the studio alternating between the episodic films and spinoff “anthology” movies each year, there’s an opening in 2020 for the next standalone project, but nothing has been officially confirmed at this point.
Before Obi-Wan Kenobi was identified as the most likely spinoff subject, rumors pointed to smuggler Boba Fett as a candidate for his own movie all the way back in 2015. X-Men franchise writer and producer Simon Kinberg has been connected to a potential Boba Fett movie for years now, but there’s been no official word on such a project yet.
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