‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ Will Mark the Tragic End to the Trilogy Format According to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy

With Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker premiering Dec. 20, 2019, the question on every fans’ mind is, “What comes next?” The Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, spoke with The Los Angeles Times about this topic that is weighing on everyone’s minds. Let’s take a look at what she said about the trilogy format and why it’s over. 

Star Wars Rise of Skywalker Cast
‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ Cast | Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney

Where does ‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’ fit into the ‘Star Wars’ Timeline?

Before we discuss what’s next, let’s do a quick recap of the timeline so far. There are three Star Wars trilogies, currently. The Original trilogy—A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983)—came out first, and to some fans is the only real narrative.

Then there was a long break in Star Wars history. The Prequel trilogy did not begin until 1999 with The Phantom Menace. The Attack of the Clones (2002) and then Revenge of the Sith (2005) concluded the trilogy, which belongs chronologically before the original three movies. 

Both the original and the prequel trilogies made fans wait an agonizing three years between each movie release. The third and final trilogy is set after the original trilogy and began with The Force Awakens (2015) and then The Last Jedi (2017). 

The Rise of Skywalker will complete the third and final trilogy. This last trilogy premiered movies every two years with a stand-alone movie in the off-years—Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016 and then Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018.

When will the next ‘Star Wars’ movie come out after ‘Rise of Skywalker’?

It is important to note that since 2015, the Star Wars Universe released movies yearly, whereas, before that, it was only every three years. The first four films since Disney purchased the franchise grossed almost $5 billion at the global box office. However, Solo was an economic failure. 

This setback was due in part to releasing too many movies too close together, according to Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger

“They’ve had three, and soon to be four, very successful movies, and one not-so-successful movie,” added Doug Creutz (entertainment and media analyst at Cowen & Co). 

Kennedy suggested taking a break on producing new Star Wars movies to give Lucasfilm more time to develop the storyline. Iger agreed, so the next film does not come out until 2022.

Why is Lucasfilm ending the trilogy format of the ‘Star Wars’ movies, and what is next?

Every fan wants to know what is next after the sequel trilogy concludes. One thing is certain, it will not be another Star Wars trilogy. It probably will not be another Star Wars Story, either because of how terrible Solo performed a the Box Office.  

“Obviously, that’s what’s we’ve been spending so much time talking about, and it’s a really important transition for Star Wars,” Kennedy told The Los Angeles Times. “What we’ve been focused on these last five or six years is finishing that family saga around the Skywalkers. Now is the time to start thinking about how to segue into something new and different.”

The Lucasfilm president has her work cut out for her. Star Wars fans are traditionally known as massive critics. She is, however, confident in her decision to stop the trilogies. 

“I think it gives us a more open-ended view of storytelling and doesn’t lock us into this three-act structure,” she added. “We’re not going to have some finite number and fit it into a box. We’re really going to let the story dictate that.”

So, we know the next film will release in 2022, and it will not be a part of a trilogy. We hope to get more answers after Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker premieres on Dec. 20, 2019.