When Disney shelled out an eye-watering amount of money for LucasFilm a few years back, it was pretty clear that they'd have a blueprint for longevity that would include a hell of a lot more than just a new trilogy.
The subsequent reveals of Rogue One and the Han Solo project firmly cemented those suspicions, and with only the latter and Star Wars Episode IX yet to come after The Last Jedi, it seems likely we're going to hear more of similar branching plans in the very near future.
It had been widely expected that we would have seen a Boba Fett or Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off announced by now, but what with Josh Trank exiting the Fett picture and it being frozen in carbonite temporarily, there's still no progress on either.
But now that Rogue One has been a success, LucasFilm should be buoyed with confidence that they can make expanded universe movies that aren't Episodic and still make billions. And that should hopefully push them to start confirming more projects that don't necessarily focus on the Skywalker saga or the plight of the Jedi.
It looks like some news might be close too, as Kathleen Kennedy spoke to MTV’s Josh Horowitz this weekend to drop some exciting teases:
“I think we’re getting close. My hope would be sometime around the summer. I never want to predict the creative process because it is its own thing, so we’re in the midst of those discussions right now.”
She also confirmed that Episodes VII, VIII and IX are indeed a trilogy and their story won't continue beyond that limit:
“There’s no question that this is set up as a trilogy and that three-act structure of the set-up, the conflict, and the resolution very much is what we have planned.”
That doesn't mean the characters will disappear, of course. At this stage, it doesn't sound like LucasFilm have a clear map on where they'll go next with Episode X - or at least not one they're willing to share yet.
“It’s interesting you ask that, because I’m sure everybody would love for me to say, ’Oh yeah we’ve got this figured out for the next 20 years.’ No, we spend a lot of time talking, debating, watching, looking at what connects with ourselves, with the audience, all of that is a part of our decision-making. We’re asking those questions right now. We’ll make a decision soon.”
Expecting anything but another trilogy would be ludicrous: it's the model they've established for 40 years, and one that has brought in billions of dollars. It's also a self-contained way of capturing an audience for more than one movie, so it'd be pretty odd for them to drop it (unless it was for a more expansive MCU-style universe of stories).
Thankfully, Kennedy also cleared up some of Disney CEO Bob Iger's comments around Han Solo's names. He was quoted as saying the origin prequel will reveal how the character “got his name,” inspiring speculation that it wasn't just his real name. While I could perhaps have got around a sort of Dread Pirate Roberts set-up, it would be entirely unnecessary to mess with Solo's name, and mercifully, Kennedy seems to suggest that Iger's comments have been misunderstood or misstated:
“I’m not sure that that’s entirely what Bob meant. There’s more to Han Solo’s name, but it’s not that it’s not his name. It’s obviously his name. It will always be his name (laughs).”
Here's Kennedy's full interview with MTV:
What do you want to see from the next Star Wars spin-off? Share your reactions below in the comments thread.