Star Wars Celebration took place in London last weekend, and it delivered plenty of exciting announcements regarding the future of the galaxy, far, far away. The news that had the biggest impact out of the bunch were Lucasfilm’s plans for the franchise’s return to the big screen. Ever since the Skywalker Saga concluded with The Rise of Skywalker in 2019, Star Wars stories have only been released through television on Disney+, leaving fans wondering when their favorite galactic adventures would be seen again in theaters. Their questions were answered at the Lucasfilm Studio Showcase panel, where three brand-new movies were announced.
James Mangold will tackle a story that will follow the first Jedi the galaxy ever saw, Dave Filoni will close out the storylines introduced in The Mandalorian and its spin-offs in a huge cinematic event and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will sit behind the camera when Daisy Ridley returns to the role of Rey. During an exclusive interview with Collider’s Editor-in-chief, Steve Weintraub, at the event, Kathleen Kennedy spoke about how the studio doesn’t think about the franchise in terms of slate-building or how many movies they can release in a determined number of years. The leader of Lucasfilm pointed out that story always comes first, saying they were focused on making “Only the ones that are really good.” She went on to say:
“We don’t really think about it that way. I’m not kidding when I say that we talk about things in terms of story and the people involved and arriving in a place where we think it’s gonna be great and that we should move forward. So even though we have a certain mandate around a slate where we’re being asked to maybe do you know, one or two a year, we wouldn’t do that if we didn’t feel we were ready.”
Understanding that the interconnected nature of the franchise’s storytelling may be unappealing for people who are tuning in to Star Wars projects for the first time, Kennedy explained that there are currently no plans to expand any of these films into potential franchises. The studio will consider all of their options before announcing more projects than those that they can handle, given their recent history with movies that go into development without ever making their way to the big screen. Here’s what Kennedy had to say regarding how Lucasfilm is currently approaching the projects they greenlight:
“We really are looking at these as ways in which people can enter Star Wars from different places and not feel the burden of, “Oh God, I gotta catch up with everything that’s been made before.” So we don’t really talk about it in terms of trilogies per se. We talk about it as stories, obviously, what Rey is doing is a carryover of what George [Lucas] created, and what we carried on with and what we’re doing with the other movies will be separate stories, but they will have a connection. The connection is really the overarching story of the Jedi. That’s what we’re looking at.”
The Future of Star Wars Looks Brighter Than Ever
There’s no denying that the franchise went through a galactic rough patch during the last few years, with the reception towards The Rise of Skywalker not being as favorable as expected, and the pandemic changing the theatrical exhibition landscape. With the latest plan revealed at Star Wars Celebration, it looks like the studio is ready to let the past die and give a new generation of fans an opportunity to dream about new heroes thriving in one of the biggest franchises in the world. While there is no official release date attached to any of these movies, it was reported this week that Rey’s comeback might premiere in 2025, followed a year later by the conclusion of The Mandalorian.
These dates are not set in stone due to the unpredictable production calendar related to the franchise’s television series. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer for the studio’s next live-action project, Ahsoka, below: