Call it a new hope or a massive corporate restructuring after the Skywalker saga ended with a whimper, but there is indeed a plan for the future of the “Star Wars” universe.
Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy teased the “road map” for the franchise, outlining a slew of new film and television projects on the horizon in a wide-ranging Vanity Fair cover story published Tuesday.
Addressing the hiatus in the film slate following the release of 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker,” the producer said, “We all recognized, every single one of us, that this was a new chapter for the company and that we needed to all work together to create the architecture for where we were going.”
Instead, of course, the company shifted gears and invested in television programming, with Disney+ becoming the hub for breakout hit series “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.”
“I do think a little bit of fun has gone out of making these gigantic movies. The business, the stakes, everything that’s been infused in the last 10 years or so. There’s a kind of spontaneity and good time that we have to be careful to preserve,” Kennedy added.
So what’s up next? On the film front, a new “Star Wars” project from “Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi will arrive on the big screen before Patty Jenkins’ much delayed “Rogue Squadron” hits theaters.
As for “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson’s previously announced trilogy of films, Kennedy confirmed that the project is on the back burner due to the “unbelievably busy” filmmaker’s forthcoming “Knives Out” sequels as part of his deal with Netflix.
“I hesitate to use the word trilogies anymore because Star Wars is much more about persistent storytelling,” she told the outlet.
Expect to see more “Star Wars” stories on Disney+ in the near future with the highly anticipated premiere of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” later this month. “Andor,” which picks up with Diego Luna’s “Rogue One” character, will arrive later this summer, before a third season of “The Mandalorian” premieres in either late 2022 or early 2023. Rosario Dawson will then front “Ahsoka,” the first female-led Jedi live-action “Star Wars” story, which is on track for a 2023 release.
The Vanity Fair deep dive also revealed new details about “The Acolyte,” an upcoming series from “Russian Doll” showrunner Leslye Headland set in the High Republic era that will reportedly star Amandla Stenberg. The mystery thriller takes place 100 years before “The Phantom Menace” and will explore the “political and personal and spiritual things that came up in a time period that we don’t know much about.”
Lastly, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” director Jon Watts will also create a new series under the code name “Grammar Rodeo” set after “Return of the Jedi.” The Disney+ project will reportedly star a group of teen actors and is described as a “galactic version of classic Amblin coming-of-age adventure films of the ’80s.”