The Future of ‘Star Wars’ Is Going to Look a Lot Different Than We Thought

John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver doing press for Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Last Jedi cast members John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver | Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Just a few weeks ago, Star Wars fans felt they had a pretty good idea of where Disney was taking the franchise. But recently, that has all changed. Disney, of course, has no plans of ending Star Wars anytime soon. Bob Iger says at least another 15 years of movies are being planned. But the saga is going to look a lot different after Episode IX than we once thought.

Here’s what we’ve just learned about where Star Wars is headed.

Kathleen Kennedy recently suggested Rey, Poe, and Finn would be in Episode X

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was interviewed on The Star Wars Show on Nov. 1. During this interview, she gave fans a pretty good idea of where the series would be heading. Kennedy said, “We’re sitting down now, we’re talking about the next 10 years of Star Wars stories, and we’re looking at narratively where that might go. Future stories beyond Episode IX with these new characters: Rey, Poe, Finn, BB-8.”

Kennedy went on to say that they’re also interested in taking the franchise to new places. But this interview was actually the first time Lucasfilm confirmed plans to continue the story of Rey beyond Episode IX. Fans had debated whether an Episode X would even get made, but Kennedy seemed to confirm it here.

But Daisy Ridley says she doesn’t want to play Rey after Episode IX

Daisy Ridley at the Star Wars Premiere

Daisy Ridley | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Despite the fact that Kennedy suggested Rey will be in Episode X, star Daisy Ridley recently said she wants to leave the franchise after Episode IXWhile speaking with Rolling Stone, Ridley said that she signed on to three movies, and that’s all she wants to do.

Ridley explained: “No, no, no. I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films. So in my head, it’s three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out.”

This quote was quite shocking for a lot of Star Wars fans, who just assumed that Rey would be a part of the saga for many years to come. Even if she wasn’t the main character of the next trilogy, she would at least appear in it, fans believed.

Now, Ridley is suggesting she might be completely done with the character in two years. 

J.J. Abrams says Episode IX will be the end of the Skywalker story

J.J. Abrams in 2013

J.J. Abrams | Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

Ridley saying she wants to leave the Star Wars franchise soon wasn’t even the only shocking quote from that Rolling Stone article. J.J. Abrams also said that Episode IX will be the end of the Skywalker story. He stated, “I do see it that way.”

The episodic Star Wars movies have always been anchored in the Skywalker story. The original trilogy follows Luke. The prequel trilogy follows Anakin. And the sequel trilogy follows Ben (and Luke again).

So it would be a bit strange for Episode IX to end the Skywalker story, but for Lucasfilm to still make Episode X. 

Rian Johnson is making a new trilogy of films

Rian Johnson at Star Wars Celebration

Rian Johnson | Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

Recently, Disney announced that Rian Johnson would be directing a new trilogy of Star Wars films. For a while, fans assumed that if we got another Star Wars trilogy, it would be Episode XEpisode XI, and Episode XII.  But no — Johnson’s trilogy is going to have nothing to do with the main saga at all.

Lucasfilm said in its announcement, “In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.” 

This trilogy might replace the episodic films

Star Wars logo

The logo for the ‘Star Wars’ franchise | Lucasfilm

When Johnson’s trilogy was announced, nobody was sure what this meant for the episodic films. One option would be for Johnson’s movies to replace the spinoffs, like Rogue One and Solo. The idea would be that Disney will keep releasing episodic movies starting with Episode X, but release a Johnson movie every other year.

But now this seems less likely. If Episode IX is going to end the Skywalker saga, it seems more likely that the Johnson trilogy is what’s replacing it. So the first Johnson film would be instead of Episode X, not in addition to it. Lucasfilm can keep releasing a Star Wars movie every year, with a Johnson movie coming one year and a spinoff movie coming the following year.  

An Obi-Wan movie is reportedly the next standalone film

obi-wan-kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi | Lucasfilm

Right now, not that many Star Wars movies have actually been announced. There’s Episode IX, Solo, the three Johnson films, and that’s it. However, there are a few movies that Lucasfilm has been reportedly talking about, one of which is a standalone Obi-Wan adventure.

This was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter back in August 2017. The idea would be for it to take place between Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. However, Lucasfilm has never officially announced this, and nobody knows whether it’s still the plan. 

Lucasfilm could return to the episodic films after a break

Rey looking straight ahead startled

Daisy Ridley as Rey | Lucasfilm

So will we ever see a movie called Star Wars: Episode X? One option is that Lucasfilm will return to the episodic saga but after a break. There was a 16-year break between the first trilogy and the second trilogy, and a 10-year break between the second trilogy and the third trilogy.

Perhaps, then, Lucasfilm will take another break before launching a fourth trilogy, continuing the Skywalker saga but after giving audiences enough time to crave its return. It had already been rumored that there would be a break before another potential trilogy.

When might that be, then? Well, Episode IX releases in 2019. Lucasfilm has already confirmed a Star Wars movie for 2020, which might be the Obi-Wan film. Johnson’s first movie could come out in 2021. Assuming those films come out every two years, the Johnson trilogy would be over in 2025.

If there’s a spinoff movie in 2026, the Skywalker saga could return in 2027 after an eight-year break. Perhaps by then, Ridley would be willing to reconsider reprising the role of Rey.

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