Posted on Friday, April 14th, 2017 by Ben Pearson
While the development of new Star Wars films remains shrouded in mystery, fans are certain of at least two things: Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi and Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX will continue the tale of the Skywalker saga, and anything with “A Star Wars Story” in the title is considered a standalone spinoff film. We’ve been wondering what will happen after Episode IX for a while, and now Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has given us some insight into what she might have planned beyond 2019.
In an interview with Fandango, Kennedy was asked if she was planning to continue the Skywalker saga past Episode IX.
“I certainly foresee movies past nine. Whether or not we carry on the Skywalker saga… you know, George always intended nine movies, and whether we continue that or not is something we’re talking about right now. If the story warrants it, we’ll absolutely do it. If it actually inspires new ideas, then we’ll probably head in that direction. We just don’t know yet.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger has already teased another decade and a half of Star Wars movies, so it’s clear the franchise will move forward even if they stop making Skywalker-centric movies. If Rey turns out to be a Skywalker, does that mean we’ll only see Daisy Ridley in two more Star Wars films? Or could she pop up again as a supporting player in a spinoff movie? Either way, we can probably surmise that the same situation applies to co-stars John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, who likely have similar contracts to Ridley’s.
Starting with The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm dropped the episode number from the official titles of its sequels. The numbering of Star Wars films has always been a source of confusion for mainstream audiences – name another franchise that begins with its fourth entry – and dropping the numbers could be a way to make normals feel more included. A massive Episode IX in the title would A) force people to remember Roman numerals, and B) possibly intimidate people and make them think, “Wait, I need to see eight other movies before this one? I’ll just skip it.” Hardcore fans are going to pay to see these films regardless of what they’re called, but the way Disney makes a billion dollars is by pulling in people like our parents, who might only go to the movies a few times a year. Removing every obstacle they might encounter is in the studio’s best interest.
I can see Kennedy and the Lucasfilm Story Group deciding that they’re going to stop the Skywalker saga after Episode IX in order to honor George Lucas’s original plan, and it’d be pretty easy for them to transition into doing only standalone movies. That might actually be the best course of action for the overall franchise, because it sounds as if that’d be the best way to expand beyond the same few planets and characters we already know and to further explore different corners and adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
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