When Disney first revealed they had bought LucasFilm and were planning to bring back ‘Star Wars’ they said they would be releasing a new film every year.
With ‘Episode 7’ set for 2017 the natural assumption was that the next two would follow in 2017 and 2019, but then JJ Abrams was forced to delay the production due to a script rewrite, pushing back the release date. It left Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ schedule in some doubt, but not any more.
Get On Your Geek is posted a quote from Disney CEO Bob Iger, who confirms the release dates for all the forthcoming ‘Star Wars’ films, but first he spoke about this December’s ‘The Force Awakens’, and what it’ll mean to fans.
"As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming, and one of the fewer who’s seen most of the footage, I can assure the millions of ‘Star Wars’ fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait," he said.
"And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional ‘Star Wars’ storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by ‘Star Wars: Episode 8’ in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with ‘Episode 9’ in 2019."
That first spin-off will be directed by Gareth Edwards, with the rumour mill suggesting it will be a Han Solo origin tale. Iger’s comment that the spin-offs will focus on “these characters” could be an indication that they’ll follow the characters in ‘Episode 7’ - making the Solo movie all the more likely, but his meaning was probably more broad.
The second spin-off, presumably set for release in 2018, will be directed by ‘Chronicle’s Josh Trank.
'Looper' and 'Brick' man Rian Johnson was hired last year to write the next two episodic 'Star Wars' adventures, and direct at least 'Episode 8' for 2017.
JJ Abrams’ ‘Star Wars: Episode 7 - The Force Awakens’ will be released on 18 December.
Picture Credits: LucasFilm.