While Star Wars: The Last Jedi got the red carpet treatment at Star Wars Celebration this weekend with the unveiling of the first trailer, there are still only two more Star Wars movies definitively in the pipeline at the moment. The untitled Young Han Solo movie hits theaters next May, and the trilogy-capping Star Wars: Episode IX has a 2019 release date set. Beyond that, the future is uncertain. Obviously there will be more Star Wars movies, and Lucasfilm had planned to unveil a Boba Fett spinoff before director Josh Trank fell off the project and the movie was put on ice, but right now the studio is remaining mum.
Which is not entirely surprising. Rogue One only just hit theaters a few months ago, and that film was a major risk in terms of storytelling for Lucasfilm. Its success tells the studio that audiences will show up for Star Wars movies that don’t involve the Skywalker family or even Jedi, and no doubt Lucasfilm’s story team—headed up by president Kathleen Kennedy—are convening to map out where they want to go.
And indeed we may get a bit of clarity in a matter of months. Speaking with MTV’s Josh Horowitz, Kennedy said that they’re getting close to nailing down the next spinoff movie to follow Rogue One and Han Solo, and an announcement could come as soon as this summer:
“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.”
And while Horowitz had Kennedy’s ear, he wanted to clear up some confusion that arose recently when Disney CEO Bob Iger teased that the Young Han Solo movie would reveal how the character “got his name,” leading some to believe we’ll learn Han Solo really isn’t Han Solo. But Kennedy says Iger’s comments were likely misconstrued:
“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).”
As for whether the Skywalker saga will continue past Episode IX, Kennedy first confirmed that IX does indeed conclude a classic trilogy structure:
“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.”
But beyond Episode IX, Kennedy admits the Lucasfilm team hasn’t yet settled on whether the films will continue the story of Rey, Finn, etc., start a brand new story in a new era, or do something else entirely:
“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.”