Savor the moment when Star Wars 9 rolls around this December—it may be the last new Star Wars movie for a little while. All involved at Lucasfilm and Disney have been touting the upcoming film as “the end of the Skywalker saga,” and with that comes something of a “reset” according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
“We have not announced any specific plans for movies thereafter. There are movies in development, but we have not announced them. We will take a pause, some time, and reset because the Skywalker saga comes to an end with this ninth movie. There will be other Stars Wars movies, but there will be a bit of a hiatus.”
This makes a lot of sense, and also jibes with what we at Collider exclusively broke last summer: that all Star Wars spinoffs are currently on hold. For one, there are no Star Wars movies shooting or even about to be shooting right now, so there’s almost no way a new Star Wars film could be ready for release in 2020. Additionally, the other major project Lucasfilm has been focused on right now is The Mandalorian, the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series that’s due to launch on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+ this fall. From a business perspective, the one-two punch of Episode IX and The Mandalorian later this year will go a long way for Disney’s bottom line.
When Disney first acquired Lucasfilm, they announced their intention to create a new trilogy of Star Wars films. That comes to an end with the J.J. Abrams-directed Episode IX, and while they’ve branched out with one-off movies like Rogue One, Lucasfilm suffered its first misstep under Disney with last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story—which arrived very shortly after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While Solo has its fans, the film’s $392 million box office total pales in comparison to the rest of the franchise, and many cited an oversaturation of Star Wars at the multiplex as a factor.
But as Iger says, other Star Wars movies are in development. The Last Jedi filmmaker Rian Johnson is creating a new trilogy of films from scratch, but he’s currently busy in post-production on his murder mystery movie Knives Out. And Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are developing a separate new series of Star Wars movies, but they’re currently deep in finishing up the final season of Game of Thrones. One imagines Johnson and/or Benioff and Weiss will get to work on those new Star Wars films in earnest later this year, after their other obligations are complete, but I wouldn’t expect anything to roll cameras before the latter half of 2020 at the earliest. Meaning after Episode IX, we may not have a new Star Wars movie in theaters until 2021.
Not to fear, though. Between The Mandalorian, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and the release of Episode IX, fans will have plenty to chew on all next year.