Thanks to Disney, you may get to re-visit the galaxy far, far away for a very, very long time. George Lucas’ Star Wars universe of Jedis Sith Lords, Ewoks and Stormtroopers isn’t going anywhere as the legendary storyline continues. According to Disney CEO Bob Iger, the production company is planning to continue the franchise even after the releases of Episodes VIII and IX.
In an interview that has been reported through The Hollywood Reporter, he said, “We’re starting to talk about what could happen after Episode IX. About what could be another decade and a half of Star Wars stories.”
When we bought LucasFilm, we were going to make three films – Episodes VII, VIII and IX. We had to deal with tragedy at the end of 2016 [the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, who had played Princess Leia, now General Leia Organa throughout the films]. Carrie appears throughout VIII. We are not changing VIII to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in VIII. In Rogue One, we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie.”
2017 will see the release of Star Wars’ Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. This carries on from the story of 2015, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens that introduced a number of new characters, including Rey, BB8, Poe Dameron, Finn and Kylo Ren. This will be the last time that we see Carrie Fisher play her role as General Leia Organa. 2018 will see the release of Episode IX that will be difficult to construct, since Fisher’s character was one of the core ones for the franchise. The makers will have to take it from there.
It looks like Hollywood has begun banking on whole universes, not just trilogies or sequels to successful films. From DC’s Justice League franchise, to Marvel’s Avengers and X-Men, and even new works like King Kong, audiences prefer watching something that’s more mythic now, than any other time.