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Following the release of the prequel trilogy, the Star Wars franchise stayed mostly dormant on the big screen for years... but now we may never see a dormant period for the franchise ever again. The brand was revitalized when the Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm back in 2012, and nothing has been the same since the release of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015. That billion dollar blockbuster kicked off a string of stories created by the studio, one coming out every year since, and it appears that the future will see many opportunities for inventive storytellers to play in this particular sandbox. And while the latest trio of saga features may soon be coming to an end, there is still a lot of new stuff being developed - including new trilogies and so-called Star Wars Stories.
But what exactly are these projects that are currently in the works? How long do we have to wait for them? We've built this guide to specifically answer all of those questions and more, so read on and discover everything that we know so far about the Star Wars films that are in the pipeline.
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
The hotly-anticipated Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker has undergone some significant behind the scenes shakeups. Initially the script for the film was written by Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, and Colin Trevorrow was attached to direct... but that was before the death of Carrie Fisher. That tragic event unfortunately forced the filmmakers to scrap what they had been working on, and it was decided that Trevorrow would step away from the helm. Lucasfilm then hired Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to replace him, and he then co-wrote a new script from the end of the sequel trilogy with Chris Terrio.
As is the case with all developing Star Wars projects, details about the plot and events we can expect to unfold are being kept under extreme wraps - though we certainly can infer a few things from where Star Wars: The Last Jedi ended. In their battle against the First Order, The Resistance nearly faced defeat in the last adventure, but thanks to an inspirational appearance from the legendary Luke Skywalker everything changed. Rey is now very much on her way towards full Jedi status, and Kylo Ren is the new leader of the fascist galactic system following the death of Supreme Leader Snoke. It's also been confirmed that the thought-dead Emperor Palpatine will have a certain amount of influence on the way things go down, but that's basically only because of the laugh that can be heard at the end of the film's debut trailer.
New generation stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie-Tran, Domhnall Gleeson and Lupita Nyong'o are all reprising their respective roles, and we'll also be seeing the return of Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, and Carrie Fisher (whose performance will be created with the use of archive footage and visual effects). New additions to the franchise include characters played by Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie. Get the latest on Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker HERE.
Release Date: December 20, 2019
The Benioff-Weiss Star Wars Trilogy
As J.J. Abrams prepares to conclude the sequel trilogy and the legendary Star Wars saga, two new trilogies will be starting up to further expand the beloved sci-fi universe. The first of these will be the brainchild of Game of Thrones producer/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss - who are working on the new set of blockbusters now that their hugely popular HBO series has come to an end. Nothing has been revealed in regards to what kind of story we can expect to be told in this set of features, or even what period of the vast timeline will be explored, but at the very least we do know when we will be seeing the first installment.
It has been confirmed by Disney and Lucasfilm that the debut chapter of the Benioff-Weiss Star Wars Trilogy will be the first to hit theaters following the release of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. That being said, we're still going to have to wait a minute for it, as the production of features in this franchise will be slowing down in the coming years. Not only will we no longer be seeing annual Star Wars movies, but the first of this particular branch won't be released until December 2022. From that point forward films from the universe will only be released biennially - and it hasn't been made clear if the franchise will be going back and forth between the two developing trilogies, or if one will get to play out entirely before the start of the next. Speaking of which...
First Film Release Date: December 16, 2022
Rian Johnson's Star Wars Trilogy
As mentioned above, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker won't be using the script that was originally written by Rian Johnson, but franchise is far from done with him. Prior to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm announced that their collaboration with Johnson will continue with the development of an entire new trilogy of movies. Like the case with the Benioff-Weiss Star Wars Trilogy, it is entirely unclear at this time what this set of blockbusters will be about, when it will be set in regards to the Star Wars stories that we know, if/how it will connect to the classic films, or if it will include characters with whom we are already familiar. What we do know is that we will surely be hearing a lot more about these movies in the years to come.
When it comes to the release date, that is another major mystery. As noted below, Disney/Lucasfilm have carved out three release dates for future Star Wars movies between now and the end of 2026. And as mentioned above, what's unclear is if the plan is to have fans experience a new movie from each trilogy every other year, or if Rian Johnson's next contributions won't start until after the Benioff-Weiss films are done. It may be a minute before we have final confirmation about this, but you can be sure we'll have all of the latest details for you as they arrive here on CinemaBlend.
First Film Release Date: Unknown
December 16, 2022
December 20, 2024
December 18, 2026