Not quite the Marvel Studios spectacle that Disney had planned, but the announcement of the release years for Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX is great news nonetheless. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2013, the plan was to release one Star Wars film a year. The first would be Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens in theaters on December 18 of this year. This would be followed by the Gareth Edwards-directed standalone film, which hits theaters December 16, 2016.
What happens after that is still unclear, as schedules do tend to change in the movie business. But in a recent Disney shareholders report, CEO Bob Iger revealed the release years for the untitled Star Wars Episode VIII and Episode IX, to be directed by Rian Johnson. Hit the jump to mark your calendars.
Get Your Geek On says that Star Wars: Episode VIII opens in 2017, with Episode IX closing out the trilogy in 2019. Here’s the full statement from the report:
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. 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 VIII in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with Episode IX in 2019.
There is a lot to digest from that statement. Iger seeing most of the footage and assuring that The Force Awakens will be a film that is worth the wait, are just some of the things to say to assure stockholders, but the following statements is where it gets interesting.
In the statement, Iger says “next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters.” This leads us to believe that the next film will be based on the new characters in the new film. It has been rumored that the film would be about the Rebel Alliance hiring bounty hunters to steal the plans to the Death Star, and that it would feature Han Solo and Boba Fett.
While Iger did mention the first standalone film, he seemed to have left out the one that will be directed by Josh Trank. It may have slipped his mind, it may not have, but the omission will have a few people wondering.