While Star Wars 9 may mark the end of the Skywalker saga, there are still many, many more adventure in the galaxy far, far away to come. And thanks to Disney's acquisition of Fox, we know exactly when the first post-Rise of Skywalker movie is hitting cinemas: December 16, 2022.
Whereas there has been a Star Wars movie released every year since The Force Awakens, new Star Wars movies will, for the foreseeable future, reach cinemas every other year (the next two being released December 20, 2024 and December 18, 2026). Those years in between Star Wars flicks will instead see new Avatar movies touch down.
So, what story will those new Star Wars movies tell? Lucasfilm and Disney are being typically tight-lipped. “We are looking at the next saga,” Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told The Hollywood Reporter. "We are not just looking at another trilogy, we're really looking at the next 10 years or more."
“[The Rise of Skywalker] is the culmination of the Skywalker Saga; it’s by no means the culmination of Star Wars," she continued. "I’m sitting down now with [Game of Thrones creators] Dan Weiss and David Benioff... and [The Last Jedi director] Rian Johnson. We’re all sitting down to talk about, where do we go next?"
Which Star Wars movies will come first after Star Wars 9? Will there be more “Star Wars Story” standalone films like Rogue One and Solo? When's the new Star Wars: The Mandalorian TV show coming? Read on to find out more about the new Star Wars movies that could be heading your way...
- The most anticipated upcoming movies of 2019 and beyond
- The best Star Wars movies, ranked from A New Hope to Solo
- How to watch every Star Wars movie right now
Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker
Release date: December 19, 2019 (UK)/December 20, 2019 (US)
The only new Star Wars movie we can talk about with much certainty, Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker will conclude the story started in the Skywalker saga once and for all. Following the departure of Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow as director, The Force Awakens' JJ Abrams took over the helm. This makes him one of only two people – the other obviously being George Lucas – who will have directed more than one Star Wars movie. Abrams said he originally had no plans to return, "but when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters..." he couldn't resist.
In terms of the story, we don't know much beyond what's in the Star Wars 9 trailer, and the fact that the cast will include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell. Fisher will appear as Leia using previously unreleased footage shot for The Force Awakens, but there's no word yet on how Luke – who appeared to die in The Last Jedi – will return. The smart money is on him coming back as an Obi-Wan Kenobi-style Force ghost.
Read more: The Star Wars 9 theories that could change everything (some for the better... some not so much)
Benioff and Weiss’s new Star Wars movies
Release date: December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024 and December 18, 2026
Game of Thrones was the biggest TV show we've seen in a long, long time. Season 8 broke numerous records, and, while the fandom may have been divided, those no denying creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did an excellent job bringing George RR Martin's world to life. The duo are now taking over the Star Wars universe, with their trilogy coming before Rian Johnson's (more on that later).
“We did a deal with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who are famous for Game of Thrones, and the next movie that we release will be theirs,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said at a presentation. “And we're not saying anything more about that.”
Exactly what the films will be about therefore remains a mystery as all Disney has said is that "these new films will be separate from both the episodic Skywalker saga and the recently announced trilogy being developed by Rian Johnson".
So, a spin-off exploring a new part of the galaxy, then? A darker, more adult, gore-and-sex treatment? A movie set in the era of BioWare's popular Knights of the Old Republic games, centuries before the events of the Star Wars movies? Kathleen Kennedy told MTV at Star Wars Celebration that, “We talk about [Old Republic] all the time. Yes, we are developing something to look at. Right now, I have no idea where things might fall, but we have to be careful that there is a cadence to Star Wars that doesn’t start to feel like too much.” A political drama set in the Star Wars galaxy's ancient past, helmed by the creators of Game of Thrones? Sign us up now!
Rian Johnson’s new Star Wars movie trilogy
Release date: Unknown
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson must have impressed someone at Lucasfilm and Disney because, just before Star Wars 8 hit cinemas, they announced that the filmmaker would be heading up a brand new Star Wars movie trilogy featuring "new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored." And even though The Last Jedi was, shall we say, divisive among the Star Wars faithful, it looks like Johnson's still on board, the director having taken to Twitter to respond to rumours the project had been abandoned.
No it isn’t true, I’m still working on the trilogy. With all due respect to the movie bros, who I’m sure are lovely kind bros with good fraternal intentions.February 14, 2019
We don't know very much about this new Star Wars movie trilogy, but Johnson will definitely write and direct the first entry. He's also spoke about the pitch that got him the job and, just to warn you, there's not much to it: "One story told over three movies. Go new places, meet new folks, come up with a new story to tell in the Star Wars universe. The sky’s the limit…" Considering how fresh The Last Jedi felt, we couldn't be more excited to see Johnson let loose in the Star Wars galaxy.
Any more Star Wars Story movies?
Release date: Unknown
The original plan, when Disney bought LucasFilm for upwards of $4 billion, was to release standalone “Anthology” movies between all the new "Saga” Episodes. That meant the two-year gaps between The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker were to be punctuated by Rogue One and Solo – and at one point it looked like there'd be a third Star Wars Story after Episode 9. Then the relatively disappointing box office performance of Solo prompted Disney to rethink the strategy and put the spin-offs on hold.
Solo’s conclusion was also clearly setting up a sequel. There were also multiple reports concerning a standalone new Star Wars movie centred on Boba Fett, first with Fantastic Four director Josh Trank at the helm, and later (according to reports that were never confirmed by Disney or Lucasfilm) Logan's James Mangold. However, this has now morphed into The Mandalorian Disney+ series (more on that later).
The other frontrunner for a standalone movie was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Indeed, there were various (similarly unconfirmed) reports over the last couple of years (one apparently leaking the synopsis) that Disney/Lucasfilm had an Obi-Wan project in the works with Billy Elliot director Stephen Daldry attached. Ewan McGregor, who played Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels, told The View in 2018: "I would totally do it, of course. There's no plans, as such, to do it as far as I know."
Like the Boba Fett solo movie, the Obi-Wan spin-off has also changed into something new: a Disney+ spin-off series based on the wise Jedi Knight. But before that, some more on The Mandalorian...
Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Release date: November 12, 2019
There's a new gunslinger in town, and his name is... well, we don't actually know yet. However, we do know he wears Mandalorian armour and is being played by Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal.
“The Mandalorian is a mysterious, lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy,” Pascal said at the show's panel at April’s Star Wars Celebration 2019. “Some might say he has questionable moral character, in line with some of our best Westerns, and some good samurai [movies]. And he’s a badass. He’s got a lot of Clint Eastwood in him.”
With Jon Favreau acting as showrunner and the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard, Taika Waititi, Deborah Chow, Rick Famuyiwa, and Dave Filoni on to direct, The Mandalorian promises to be an excellent addition to the Star Wars universe. There's no trailer yet, but we do know that the show will launch on Disney+ this November. We also know that a second season is already being written by Favreau, so Lucasfilm must be happy with season 1. And when Lucasfilm's happy, we're happy.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series
Rogue One spin-off
Release date: 2021
A little less high profile, but still noteworthy nonetheless. There's a Rogue One prequel coming to Disney+, with Diego Luna reprising his role as Rebel Alliance spy Cassian Andor and Alan Tudyk will return as the droid K-2SO. The new series is being billed as “a rousing spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire.” Stephen Schiff, of The Americans fame, will act as showrunner.