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X-Wing shooting at TIE Fighter in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This December marks the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. Following that, Lucasfilm had already made it clear that the franchise set in a galaxy far, far away would take a bit of a break from the big screen, but now we’ve learned that it won’t gone for too long. Because by 2022, Star Wars movies will be playing again at a theater near you.

Disney announced today that starting in 2022, three new “as-yet-untitled” Star Wars movies will be released on the pre-Christmas weekend every other year. That means Star Wars fans will get their fill of new cinematic adventures in 2022, 2024 and 2026. So once the Skywalker Saga wraps up, the franchise will take a three-year breather, and then return to turn the page on a new chapter of this space opera epic.

Movie studios announcing the release dates of major blockbusters years ahead of time is nothing new, but this now gives Star Wars fans a firm launch date on the post-Skywalker Saga era. It’s interesting that rather than release a Star Wars movie every year as has been happening since The Force Awakens came out, Disney and Lucasfilm are now taking a more reserved approach and delivering a Star Wars movie every two years.

What’s unclear is what Star Wars movies these will be. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is putting together a new trilogy after his next movie, Knives Out, is released, and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have their own trilogy in the works. Unless Disney and Lucasfilm change their minds and decide to throw additional Star Wars movies into 2023, 2025 and 2027, that means that whatever next set of films is coming next, we’ll have to wait a long time for the other set to arrive.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Friday before Christmas weekend in 2022 is December 16, and that’s the same day that Warner Bros has Aquaman 2 slated for release. So unless one of them is willing to move from that date, we’ll have a Star Wars vs. DC showdown at the box office. My guess is that Aquaman 2 is the likeliest to exit that slot, as aside from Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars movies have all come out right before Christmas in the Disney era.

Of course, even without any Star Wars movies between 2019 and 2022, it’s not like there will be a lack of Star Wars content during that time. Along with numerous novels, comic books and video games being churned out, Disney+ will keep fans entertained with The Mandalorian and the still-to-be-titled series focusing on Cassian Andor and K-2SO.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the Star Wars movies coming out on December 16, 2022; December 20, 2024; and December 18, 2026. In the meantime, you can look forward to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hitting theaters on December 20.

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