With the ninth and final film in the Skywalker Saga set to be released at the end of the year, many fans are already wondering about the future of the Star Wars franchise. Because after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters in December, it seems like the future of the movies is up in the air.
Disney and Lucasfilm have shifted their focus toward Disney+ series, bringing The Mandalorian and the Rogue One prequel to the streaming service and seemingly putting the spinoff movies on the back burner after the disappointment of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy spoke about the shift in focus for the company as they now mine new stories across the galaxy, teasing future plans while addressing what actually works in the Star Wars franchise.
"I think there is a larger expectation that Disney has, Kennedy explained to Vanity Fair. "On the other hand, though, I think that Disney is very respectful of what this is, and right from the beginning we talked about the fragility of this form of storytelling. Because it’s something that means so much to fans that you can’t turn this into some kind of factory approach. You can’t even do what Marvel does, necessarily, where you pick characters and build new franchises around those characters. This needs to evolve differently."
This renewed focus on what works for Star Wars should be encouraging to fans, knowing that Disney isn't just slapping the franchise name on any piece of property in hopes of turning out a quick buck. Instead, Kennedy is given the leeway to explore and find the next crop of stories that will last for generations, continuing with the same themes that fans have come to know and love.
"There’s a loss of innocence, a sense of innocence that existed in the 70s that I don’t think to any extent exists today," Kennedy said. "I think that has to permeate the storytelling and the reaction to the stories and how they’re set up. It has to feel differently because we’re different."
Now that Game of Thrones has ended, former showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are expected to turn their focus to the new series of films that are set to kick off in 2022.
But for now, fans can look forward to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premiering in theaters on December 20th, 2019.