The imminent release of Star Wars Episode VII in 2015 made everyone assume Star Wars Episode VIII and XI would follow in 2017 and 2019. That was the logical progression of the news that Disney CEO Bob Iger and LucasFilm co-chairman Kathleen Kennedy stated they’d like to release a new Star Wars film every two years. Everyone figured, we’d complete a new trilogy, and maybe move on from there.

Then last week, news broke that screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg had been hired to write new Star Wars movies, presumably Episodes VII and XI. They’d also receive producer credit on those films. Curiously, while that news was confirmed by multiple sources, Disney and LucasFilm themselves have yet to announce it and it seems we might now have a reason why.

Sources now report that while Kasdan and Kinberg are indeed writing new Star Wars movies, they may actually be additional movies outside of the planned sequel trilogy. Read more after the jump.

The Hollywood Reporter, who confirmed the news about Kasdan and Kinberg in the first place, reported on this surprising turn of events. Their piece leaves it open to the possiblity that Kasdan and Kinberg could, actually, be writing Episdoes VIII and XI but that doesn’t seem as set in stone as it did last week. Here’s the telling sentence:

Their scripts could turn into official “Episodes” in the main Skywalker storyline, or they could form the basis for spinoffs focusing on side characters.

That sound you heard was Joe Johnston calling LucasFilm pleading to direct a Boba Fett movie.

Again, until StarWars.com reveals news on this topic, nothing can be locked in for certain, but I assume this possibility of spin-offs so soon is a turn few of us expected. And to be fair, they never said “a new Star Wars trilogy,” just “new Star Wars movies.” So let’s speculate.

Episode VII, written by Michael Ardnt and possibly directed by Matthew Vaughn, is released in 2015. Then, in 2017, instead of seeing the next film in the trilogy, we get a spin-off film – something like the young Han Solo story. That could feature Solo as a teenager, how he came to smuggling, the card game where he won the Millenium Falcon, the Kessel Run, why Chewbacca has a life debt to him, and it ends as he walks into a cantina in Mos Eisley. Or maybe we get a Boba Fett spin-off, something set during the time of Star Wars Episode IV. And then, after a film or two, we get Episode VIII.

Of course, that last paragraph is purely speculative and, to be honest, I’d rather we just blew threw a new trilogy before reaching out into other outlets. But it seems the discussion must now be had considering Star Wars spin-offs coming sooner rather than later.

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