The current Star Wars trilogy will conclude in 2019 with the release of Episode IX, and while Lucasfilm has also been releasing standalone movies to expand the galaxy far, far away, many fans have questioned if the franchise will eventually come out with another trilogy for the main saga. Well, the official answer is yes! Lucasfilm is announced that a new Star Wars trilogy is on the way with Rian Jonson leading the charge.
Rian Johnson's first contribution to the Star Wars universe, The Last Jedi, is hitting theaters next month, and while J.J. Abrams was hired to replace Colin Trevorrow as Episode IX's director, Johnson's time with the franchise isn't over. According to the official press release, Johnson will "shepherd" this new trilogy, which includes writing and directing the first new installment. In sharp contrast with the previous Star Wars trilogies, this will be "separate from the episodic Skywalker saga." As a result, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the Star Wars galaxy that has never been explored before. In addition to this news, it was also announced that a live action Star Wars TV series will air in 2019 on Disney's upcoming streaming service.
When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, it was to be expected that the studio would be playing the long game with Star Wars, i.e. it would release more than just one new trilogy and a few standalone movies. No release date was announced for the first installment of this new trilogy, but one would imagine that Disney won't waste any time getting it off the ground, as opposed to waiting more than a decade, like the time that passed between the Original and Prequel trilogies. As for this trilogy separating itself from the main Skywalker saga, this is a good way to ensure that the Star Wars universe doesn't feel as "small." By the time Episode IX is released in 2019, we'll have covered three generations of the Skywalker lineage, and even the standalone films have connections to that primary story. Delving into a new corner populated with characters who don't have direct ties to folks from the first three trilogies is a good way to freshen the franchise.
This news also bodes well for Rian Johnson's work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a.k.a. Episode VIII. While Lucasfilm has dealt with directorial shakeups on Solo: A Star Wars Story and Episode IX this year, there have been no reports about the studio's brass clashing with Johnson. If they're incredibly pleased with what he did on The Last Jedi, then having him be the driving force behind a new trilogy is a wise creative and business decision.
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released in theaters, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the Star Wars franchise. Don't forget to also look through our 2018 premiere guide to see what's coming out next year.