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When the Walt Disney Company purchased LucasFilm in late 2012, they created a plan to not only create three new chapters in the Star Wars saga - Episodes VII, VIII, and IX - but also standalone films that would operate outside of the main story. Up until this point it had been reported that the number of projects in development at the studios was two, but that number has reportedly gone up.
CEO Bob Iger spoke during the Walt Disney Company quarterly earning stockholders call today, and a reporter from Variety says that the executive revealed that the studios actually have three "spin-offs" in the works. The plan is to have each of these movies come our in the years when we don't see a new episode of the main saga. Because Star Wars: Episode VII is coming out in December 2015, that means that the first "other" movie is being planned for 2016. Provided all goes according to plan, we would presumably then see Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017, the second "other" movie in 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third "other" movie in 2020.
The big question that remains, of course, is what exactly these separate movies will be about. Many have suggested that each of the movies will be an origin story about an established character in the Star Wars universe, and three names that have been mentioned more than a few times are Han Solo, Boba Fett and Yoda. Nothing has been confirmed at this point, and for all we know one of the movies may actually about Jek Porkins:
Adding an interesting wrinkle to this story is the fact that we have no idea who is writing this third script. As we've previously reported, Lawrence Kasdan (who is also co-writing Star Wars: Episode VII) is penning one of the screenplays, and Simon Kinberg is taking care of the second one. So who is responsible for the third idea? Hopefully that information will be revealed some time soon.
Star Wars has been all over the news recently, and with good reason. Production on Star Wars: Episode VII will soon get underway at Pinewood Studios in England, with J.J. Abrams at the helm and we recently learned that the cast will include Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow. There is certainly more news to come - an official title and logline perhaps? - so be sure to keep checking back with us.