Here’s what’s coming next in the galaxy far, far away.
The new era of Star Wars is an embarrassment of riches for fans of the franchise.
Disney’s purchase of Star Wars didn’t just revive the fandom—it also guaranteed the regular production of new Star Wars movies from now until, well, Disney and Lucasfilm decide to stop making them (possibly never).
With the intricate planning that has to take place at every stage of the process to maintain continuity in the galaxy far, far away, it makes sense that Lucasfilm has planned its film lineup well into the future.
Here are the Star Wars movies you can expect to hit theaters in the next few years.
1) Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Dec. 15, 2017
After taking a break from the primary Star Wars storyline for the standalone film Rogue One, Lucasfilm returns to our adventure with Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and the rest of the gang this holiday season. Directed and written by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick), the film will pick up immediately where we left off in The Force Awakens, and fans expect it to feature a lot of Luke, played by Mark Hamill. Benicio Del Toro will join the cast and has been confirmed as a bad guy. Will Rey find out who her family is? What the heck has Luke been doing all this time? Will Kylo Ren still be emo? We’ll find out later this year.
While The Force Awakens released a teaser trailer more than a year ahead of the film’s debut, we’re still waiting on a trailer for The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm finally announced the official title of the film via Twitter on Jan. 23.
A day later, Johnson shared an Instagram photo of the opening crawl with the newly announced title, giving Star Wars fans around the world the warm fuzzies.
2) Han Solo, May 25, 2018
In 2018, we get another Star Wars standalone (unless Lucasfilm and Disney decided later to give it a sequel, who knows!). You’ll notice this is the first spring date for a Disney-era Star Wars film, after Star Wars Episode VIII, originally scheduled for spring 2017, got pushed back to the holidays. With that in mind, keep an eye out for schedule changes on this one. Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) was picked from more than 2,500 actors to be young Han in the film, with Donald Glover (Atlanta, Community) coming on as a young Lando Calrissian. You can also look for Woody Harrelson as Han’s mentor, and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) in a yet to be announced role.
On March 6, Lucasfilm confirmed The Wire star Michael K. Williams would also join the cast in a yet-to-be announced role.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller of The Lego Movie had been tapped to direct the film, but they unexpectedly left (or were fired) in late June—a startling four months into filming. Lucasfilm said the relationship fell apart over “creative differences,” and in the aftermath reports suggested Lord and Miller clashed with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and script co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, a familiar Star Wars name who worked on the Return of the Jedi, Empires Strikes Back, and The Force Awakens. On June 22, Lucasfilm announced award-winning director Ron Howard would replace Lord and Miller on the film.
The upheaval has, of course, unnerved Star Wars fans who are looking forward to seeing young Han on the big screen. Kennedy previously told Variety that the film will have a heist or Western type feel, but it’s not clear how things might change under Howard’s direction.
Miller tweeted the first photo from the set of the movie on Jan. 30, complete with a Red Solo Cup joke.
3) Star Wars Episode IX, May 24, 2019
Star Wars Episode IX, directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), is the final chapter of the trilogy that started with A Force Awakens. It’ll be an especially bittersweet moment for fans because Carrie Fisher’s beloved Princess Leia was expected to play a larger role in the film.
Lucasfilm has said that it would adjust the script to account for her absence, and it would not construct a CGI version of her character like it did for Peter Cushings as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. Fisher finished filming her scenes for Episode VIII before she died in December 2016.
Disney announced Episode IX’s release date on April 25, giving some relief to fans who worried they’d have to wait until the holiday season 2019. While Episode IX marks the final chapter of the trilogy, it won’t be the last we see of Star Wars—not by a long shot. It’ll be followed in 2020 by another standalone movie, and while there are no further announced films, you can bet Disney won’t leave its extremely valuable intellectual property sitting around to gather dust.
4) Star Wars Anthology movie, 2020
Lucasfilm plans to release another standalone Star Wars movie in 2020, but is it the long-rumored Boba Fett movie fans have been waiting for? Late last year we learned that director Josh Trank had signed on for the Boba Fett movie and almost announced the film at a Star Wars Celebration conference panel back in 2015. There was even a teaser reel ready to show fans, according to EW. But Trank mysteriously dropped out of the panel and left the project a week later. The reason for his departure was never stated, but many fans guess it had something to do with production problems on the embarrassingly bad Fantastic Four movie (which he publicly disavowed). Whatever the reason, Trank’s departure left the movie floundering. In a December interview with EW, Lucasfilm’s Kennedy sidestepped a definitive answer on a Boba Fett standalone film, saying the story group would gather in January after Rogue One to take a broader look at the franchise and decide where they want to head next. It could be a Boba Fett movie, but the film could also focus on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, or another part of the Star Wars story.
Editor’s note: This article will be regularly updated for relevance.
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