by Graham Pierrepoint
Disney have really taken the Star Wars franchise to heart – they’ve largely revitalized fan faith and interest in the long-running series, having brought the critically and financially popular Episode VII (The Force Awakens) to our screens in 2015, along with spin-off Rogue One in 2016 and The Last Jedi, Episode VIII, due to hit theaters this holiday season. To say that the House of Mouse are converting the release of a Star Wars flick into a yearly event is somewhat underselling things – with spin-offs surrounding characters such as Han Solo due to reach us in the years to come.
There’s more big news been revealed, however, with Disney and Director Rian Johnson having advised that a new trilogy of movies within the universe are on the way ▶. Could this be Episodes X, XI and XII? It’s not so clear – but what has emerged is that the movies will expand upon the existing universe and will focus on brand new characters. Could this mean that we wave goodbye to the Skywalker saga for good after Episode IX? It could well do – with Han Solo having been killed off at the end of Force Awakens and with Carrie Fisher – Leia Organa – having sadly passed away last Christmas, it seems that focus on a new generation of stories and conflicts ▶ could well be on the cards.
“Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy,” remarked Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy, in charge of overseeing much of the Star Wars content that we’re being treated to. “He’s a creative force and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career.” The Last Jedi is set to replicate or perhaps even outdo the colossal box office success that was The Force Awakens – meaning that the heat will be on to continue to produce fantastic movies in the run throughout this new trilogy and beyond.
If Star Wars continues to be profitable, it is highly likely that Disney and its acquired Lucasfilm division will continue to push the characters and themes to entrance fans all over the world. While some critics and even fans remain unsure, it can hardly be denied that George Lucas’ decision to sell the brand has breathed new life into the brand – and that it has helped Disney’s already expansive fortunes even further.