The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger says Disney is "just getting started" with Star Wars following the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the opening of its Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge theme parks at both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts. Iger previously put a pause on Star Wars — saying "less is more" with the movie side of the franchise, to resume with an untitled movie set for December 2022 — but a slate of in-development projects, including multiple live-action television series planned for the Disney+ streaming service beyond The Mandalorian, means Disney is only just beginning to mine the "full potential" of the George Lucas-created franchise Disney acquired in its $4.05 billion purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012.
"It's been an incredibly fulfilling and a very exciting journey, but actually, I think, in many respects we're just getting started," Iger said on The Star Wars Show. "We've accomplished a lot — obviously with the saga films, the Skywalker Saga — and the opening of Galaxy's Edge here in California and in Florida, and of course, a few other films along the way and TV series. But it feels like we're just starting to mine the full potential of what Star Wars is and what Star Wars can be."
Iger continued, "And I think it took some time as Lucasfilm became part of Disney and we started thinking long term — not just about fulfilling the interest of the fans short-term, but long-term what could happen — and I get a sense that the future is far more vast than we expected it to be, and so there's just a lot that lies ahead."
Since the release of the J.J. Abrams-directed franchise revival The Force Awakens in 2015, Disney has released one Star Wars feature per year, alternating between spinoffs and episodic entries: debut spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was followed by sequel trilogy middle chapter The Last Jedi, itself followed by young Han Solo prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story and, most recently, Abrams' The Rise of Skywalker, the finale for what Disney has dubbed the Skywalker Saga.
Iger previously admitted the timing decisions in this release strategy was a "mistake," telling The Hollywood Reporter in September 2018 the studio's Star Wars output was "a little too much, too fast," and Disney would be "a little bit more careful about volume and timing" moving forward.
He later reaffirmed a Star Wars feature hiatus in November, saying on a Disney earnings call there will still be "a lot of creative activity in the interim." Disney has yet to reveal its plans for its film slate post-Skywalker — a recent report from THR said the plans for Disney's untitled 2022 film are expected to be revealed in January — but Marvel Studios architect Kevin Feige has been recruited to steer a project set in a galaxy far, far away, this one "exploring new people and new places in that universe."
Disney next releases the season finale of The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, Dec. 27 on Disney+. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.