When Disney kicked off its Star Wars era with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens back in 2015, the studio announced plans for annual releases, which – had they proven successful – would presumably have led to multiple movies per year, similar to the blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.
Unfortunately for Disney, it didn’t quite work out that way, and while the first three – The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi – were hugely successful at the box office, they didn’t quite manage to please the entire Star Wars fanbase. That’s particularly true of The Last Jedi, which quickly became the most divisive instalment in the saga, and was followed just five short months later by last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story – the first instalment to fail at the box office.
In the wake of Solo’s failure, Disney announced that it would be reassessing its approach to the galaxy far, far away, scrapping plans for a number of Anthology movies and shifting its attention to the small screen with the likes of The Mandalorian while slowing down on the film side of things.
Well, speaking to the BBC in the run up to next month’s Skywalker Saga-ending Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Disney CEO Bob Iger has been discussing this “slowdown” and the thinking behind it:
“I have said publicly that I think we made and released too many films over a short period of time,” said Iger. “I have not said that they were disappointing in any way. I’ve not said that I’m disappointed in their performance. I just think that there’s something so special about a Star Wars film, and less is more.”
Regardless of whether you’ve enjoyed the Disney Star Wars movies or not, it’s hard to argue that the release of a new Star Wars movie still has near the same kind of “event” feel that it once did, back when we had to wait three years between instalments and decades between trilogies.
At this point, all we know about the future of the Star Wars franchise is that Disney has earmaked release dates in December 2022, December 2024 and December 2026, the first of which was to have come from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss until their exit last week. Still, in the meantime we do have The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to look forward to…
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set for release on December 19th 2019 in the UK and December 20th 2019 in North America. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sees J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) directing a cast that includes Star Wars veterans Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Greg Grunberg (Snap Wexley), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) as well as new additions Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lost), and Keri Russell (The Americans).