Finn, Rey and Poe in Force Awakens

It's a great time to be a Star Wars fans. After a few years of hiatus after the divisive prequel trilogy, Disney has taken control of the property and is releasing both main installments and standalone films every year for the foreseeable future. And in just over a month, Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi will finally arrive in theaters, continuing the main narrative of Luke Skywalker and the battle against The Dark Side. The current trilogy of films stars a trio of new characters in Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron. But how long should we expect them to show up in Star Wars movies? It turns for quite a while, as Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and her team are developing plans for the characters past Episode IX.

We're sitting down now, we're talking about the next 10 years of Star Wars stories. And we're looking at narratively where that might go. Future stories beyond Episode IX with these new characters. Rey, Poe, Finn, BB-8.

Per Kathleen Kennedy's comments to The Star Wars Show, J.J. Abram's currently untitled Episode IX won't be the last we see our trio of new protagonists. Instead the characters (and the franchise itself) will continue on past that blockbuster and the current trilogy of films. Like I said, it's a great time to be a Star Wars fan.

Developing the future of Star Wars after Episode IX will no doubt be another way that Disney is a game changer for the franchise. The House of Mouse is planning big things for the galaxy far, far away, and the movies aren't going to stop after the current narrative has completed. Of course, one has to wonder exactly how the franchise will continue after Episode IX hits theaters in a few years.

One possibility would be yet another trilogy of films. This would be the a major change from George Lucas' original intention for the space opera. The story was always meant to be told through nine movies, but that would also mean the money train for Disney could dry up in a few years. Hardcore Star Wars fans may not be too pleased with this deviation from Lucas' intentions, so a fourth trilogy also has the potential to piss off the main demographic of fans.

Perhaps another choice would be giving the heroes their very own standalone films. This would allow the actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac to continue playing their Star Wars characters without having to sign another multi-picture contract. And with movies like Rogue One and Wonder Woman proving that a more focused and contained narrative could become a critical and financial darling, Star Wars may be willing to change things up after the current trilogy ends.

Alas, we'll have a few more years of blockbusters first. Star Wars: The Last Jedi will arrive in theaters December 15th (pre-order your tickets here!), followed by Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25th, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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