Star Wars The Force Awakens rey finn 5

The minute Disney purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012, we knew the studio planned to expand the Star Wars franchise far beyond what we’d already seen. To their credit, they moved quickly: it’s now five years later, and they’re already in production on their third Star Wars movie. Now you can go ahead and mark your calendars for 2032, because Disney CEO Bob Iger says there’s a good chance they’ll still be pumping out Star Wars films at that point.

During a talk today at USC’s Marshall School of Business, Iger gave an update about the future of the Star Wars franchise.

“We’re just starting to talk about what happens to Star Wars after [Episode] 9. It’s way too early, and certainly nothing that I can reveal, but we’ve got a creative team actually thinking about what could be another decade and a half of Star Wars stories. It’s kind of mind-blowing to spend an afternoon with a creative team talking about that. Where could you go, where should we go?”

It’s interesting that Iger specifically used the phrase “Star Wars stories” instead of “Star Wars films” or “movies” in that quote. Does he literally mean that Lucasfilm is only developing Star Wars Story movies – AKA standalone spin-offs like Rogue One or the young Han Solo film – and that they’re not moving forward with the traditional episodes beyond Colin Trevorrow’s Star Wars: Episode IX? Those episodes tell the story of the Skywalker saga, and it would be a monumental occasion if that saga came to a definitive end in two years.

This morning, it was announced that Iger renewed his contract with The Walt Disney Company through July of 2019, which means he’ll be able to walk off into the sunset just one month after Episode IX concludes the new trilogy. Is Iger looking to further cement his legacy by sticking around for what might be the final Skywalker-centric Star Wars movie before Disney and Lucasfilm shift gears and take the franchise out into the further, unexplored reaches of a galaxy far, far away?

That’d be quite the power play on his part, forever marking him as the person who paved the way for Kathleen Kennedy and her team to finish the third trilogy George Lucas thought about all those years ago. Or maybe Iger was just speaking generally in that statement, and the creative team is looking to continue the tales of Rey, Poe, Finn, and any other characters who survive the new trilogy for years to come.

Either way, with acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm under his belt, Iger may very well go down as one of the most influential people in Hollywood history when all is said and done.

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