It looks like Star Wars is in a state of uncertainty and slight disarray once again, at least when it comes to big-screen releases. The galaxy far far away first experienced this after Solo bombed at the box office and performed poorly critically as well. Lucasfilm announced that they would no longer be making spinoff/anthology feature films, at least for the time being. Take the Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff project for example, which was initially meant to be a big-screen release will now be a miniseries on Disney Plus — a great decision in my opinion. Not only that, the very plan of releasing one SW film per year was shelved as higher-ups at Disney and Lucasfilm decided to take a step back and figure things out.
However, somewhere around the summer of 2019, things seemed to settle down. Disney announced that Star Wars feature films were only going on temporary hiatus for a few years. After which a new Star Wars trilogy will be launched. The first film was pencilled in to hit cinemas in 2022, followed by one in 2024 and the other in 2026. These films were reportedly gonna be spearheaded by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Not only that, at the time Rian Johnson firmly confirmed that his Star Wars trilogy was still developing smoothly and definitely happening.
Over the last couple of weeks, though, the grounds have started to shake once again. Not only did Rian Johnson suddenly seem uncertain about his new Star Wars trilogy, Benioff and Weiss also decided to leave the galaxy far far away to focus on their huge deal with Netflix. My initial thought was that of hope, “no worries!” I said. “This means we’re probably going to switch our focus to Rian Johnson’s trilogy.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
The executive editor of Variety reported on Twitter that Star Wars feature films will go on hiatus following The Rise of Skywalker. In a series of Tweets he said:
Disney CEO Bob Iger says Star Wars feature films will go on “into a hiatus” following Rise of Skywalker. Says there will be lots of activity on TV front, mentions 3 series in the works for Disney Plus. Iger’s comments come after Disney/LucasFilm announces they’ve parted ways with Benioff and Weiss on planned film trilogy. He notes that both Star Wars and Marvel inspire TV shows, rides, merchandise. “We think about them as more than just films and film franchises.
On the positive side, at least SW isn’t going away. We’ll still be getting epic small-screen stories such as The Mandalorian, a series on Obi-Wan, a series on Cassian Andor and whatever else they have brewing in secret. That said, there’s nothing quite like walking into a packed IMAX hall and watching the opening crawl. There’s nothing quite like listening to Star Wars musical scores blare through the brilliant surround sound. There’s just nothing quite like watching Star Wars on the big screen.