When Disney first announced it would be making new Star Wars movies, fans were excited that they would be able to see their favorite characters once again. However, they probably shouldn't get used to seeing that in the long term. Gary Whitta, who wrote Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and created several brand new characters along with it, says that Lucasfilm is looking to get away from telling stories with the previously established characters. The creative team is much more interested in expanding the Star Wars universe than they are in focusing on what's already there.
The next spin-off is 'Han Solo,' that's another familiar character, but I think increasingly you're going to see... One of the thing things we really want to do at Lucasfilm is create a universe and not keep relying on old legacy characters. We've got Rey and Finn and Kylo Ren, they've already introduced a new generation of characters. Whatever kind of Star Wars films they're making 10 or 20 years from now, I don't think they're going to be relying on the same legacy story elements as we have in the past.
As Gary Witta tells Coming Soon, Lucasfilm already began establishing new characters from the start of the Disney era of the franchise. While Han Solo and General Leia were there, they were clearly supporting characters to the likes of Rey and Kylo Ren. The fate of Han Solo in the movie, and unfortunately Carrie Fisher in real life, only reinforces the idea that these characters won't be the focus of the stories going forward.
What's more, Gary Whitta's statement that the Han Solo movie, which will deal with an old character, but in a new situation and with new actors, will be more the exception than the rule, means that even future films dealing with new versions of old characters may also not play out as we anticipated. This means that the first film to follow Star Wars: Episode IX, which was previously going to be a Boba Fett movie, could instead be something fresh, more along the lines of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which dealt with established Star Wars events, but with almost entirely new characters.
As much as we all might love the stories of the Skywalker family, this is the right call for the long-term health of the franchise. Disney clearly wants to still be making Star Wars movies in 10 or 20 years, and if they're still making movies about the Galactic Rebellion or people named Skywalker, people will eventually get bored.
Of course, this also means that a great deal will be expected of future writers as they will be expected to produce entirely new story elements that fans will want to see. Are you ready to see entirely new parts of the galaxy far, far away? Let us know in the comments.