Star Wars is not being shy about making up for lost time. After a ten-year wait between Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: The Force Awakens - which increases to a 32-year gap if you work from the date of the previous good Star Wars film - the series is now hurling out movies like a pack of Ewoks chucking rocks at an AT-ST.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi now out, the next big wait has already begun. And after that, there will be another. And then another. And then another. To help you plan for what now looks like a lifetime of looking forward to new Star Wars movies, here's our complete run-down of what to expect, when to expect it, and everything we know about it. Main series, spin-offs, and everything else. It's all here, and it'll all be updated with every new happening as it happens.
- How Star Wars made (and then ruined) modern Hollywood
- The secret history of the Star Wars movies we never got to see… and one that could still happen
- In what order should you watch the Star Wars movies? It isn’t actually that obvious...
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Release date: May 25, 2018
Han Solo got the ultimate send off in The Force Awakens, a warm and (most importantly) relevant starring role that saw Harrison Ford turn in his third best performance as the character. (Come on - this Han Solo was way awesomer than Return of the Jedi Han Solo.) While it's hard to imagine anyone else playing the character, Alden Ehrenreich will step into the sweet '70s space boots in the Han Solo spin-off movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, out in 2018.
We now have a trailer for the movie, which you can see above. It’s been massively divisive among fans, seeming to elicit an average overall response of ‘Eh’ as a result of its muddled, Guardians of the Galaxy-style tone and Ehrenreich’s not entirely convincing approximation of Solo. But still, Donald Glover’s Lando has earned universal whoops and cheers (because of course he has). There’s still plenty of scope for this to be an upbeat hoot of a thing – which would be a nice break from the emotional and philosophical weight of the main trilogy – so here’s hoping we get a better look at it soon.
Read more: Why the young Han Solo movie is a bad idea
The Solo movie was originally going to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the duo behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, but the pair left the project in June 2017 over 'creative differences' with Disney and were replaced by Ron Howard. During this time Community’s Donald Glover joined the cast to play a young Lando Calrissian, while Woody Harrelson signed on to play Bennet, Solo’s mentor and likely a father figure. Joining them are Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke and Westworld’s Thandie Newton, but both their roles are being kept under wraps. And of course, it wouldn't be a Han Solo story without Chewbacca, who will be brought to life by Joonas Suotamo who’s now taken over the role from Peter Mayhew full time.
Star Wars 9
Release date: December 20, 2019
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi out in cinemas, attention now turns to Star Wars 9 and how the story will conclude. There's no doubt that the end of Star Wars 8 left us with some pretty big questions about what will happen in Episode 9, but I won't go into them here in case you haven't seen the movie yet.
Originally going to be directed by Jurassic World's Colin Trevorrow, who left in September 2017 over - you've guessed it - 'creative differences', the concluding chapter to the latest Star Wars trilogy will be written and directed by The Force Awakens' JJ Abrams. As Episode 8 is only just out, we know very little about the sequel, but it's a safe bet that everyone who survives to the end of The last Jedi will make an appearance... with the exception of Carrie Fisher. Yes, one thing we do know about the movie is that General Leia Organa will not appear. After much speculation, Disney confirmed that following Fisher's tragic death in 2016 her character wouldn't make an appearance in Episode 9 either in CGI form or otherwise, which makes The Last Jedi her final film.
Untitled third Star Wars anthology movie
Release date: 2020
The anthology movies may not be a distinct trilogy, but there will definitely be three of them! Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed multiple times that a third anthology film is on the way, but beyond saying that an unnamed writer is currently working on it, that's all we know... officially.
There's been much talk that the third movie will be an Obi-Wan Kenobi spin-off and The Hollywood Reporter seemed to confirm this in August 2017, saying that the man behind Billy Elliot and The Hours, Stephen Daldry, was in early talks to direct. Having said that, we've had no official word from Disney on who (or what) the third anthology will be about, so we can't say for sure yet. The same goes for the movie's working title which is supposedly Joshua Tree, according to sources, and hints at a Tatooine location, but, again, we've had no confirmation from Disney. If it's not an Obi-Wan movie, there's also rumours of a Yoda movie or even a Boba Fett film, but fingers crossed we'll find out either way soon. We can't take the suspense much longer!
Another Star Wars trilogy
Release date: Unknown
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson must have impressed someone at Disney because just before Episode 8 hit cinemas, it was announced that he would be heading up a brand new Star Wars trilogy featuring "new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored."
Obviously, we don't know very much about this new trilogy at this point, but Johnson will definitely write and direct the first entry and he recently revealed the pitch which got him the job. 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… and they [Disney] really responded to that." Based on that short and sweet pitch, Disney gave him responsibility for three new Star Wars movies so you know he's good. From that little teaser, it sounds like the trilogy will feature characters never seen before in the Star Wars universe which is pretty exciting. Watch this space!
Untitled Star Wars series from the creators of Game of Thrones
This is likely to make up a significant portion on the unannounced films mentioned below. Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been given a Star Wars sub-series of their own, with work due to begin after GoT’s eighth and final season is finished, most likely some time in early 2019.
What form will their series take? No-one knows at the moment, but its existence seems to confirm the notion that Disney intends to expand the scope of Star Wars far far beyond the core, numbered series. Benioff and Weiss’ series (which may or may not be a trilogy), will be entirely separate to what’s now somewhat cloyingly referred to as The Skywalker Saga, and also unrelated to Ryan Johnson’s previously announced new trilogy.
So, a spin-off exploring a new part of the galaxy, then? A darker, more adult, gore-and-boobs treatment? A prequel set in a way, way, way earlier era of Star Wars, before proper lightsabers were invented and they had to be made out of, like, metal and stuff? All of these things have been posited and pondered (except the metal swords thing; that’s just ridiculous), but it will likely be a while before we have answers. However it turns out though, access to hyperdrive should finally sort out the showrunners’ recent issues with over-estimating flight speed.
2021 movie and beyond
Release date: 2021
Even before Rian Johnson's new trilogy was announced, we knew we'd be getting more Star Wars movies after 2020. "I had a meeting yesterday with Kathy Kennedy and we mapped out--well, we reviewed--the Star Wars plans that we have until 2020," said Disney CEO Bob Iger in September. "We have movies in development for Star Wars until then, and we started talking about what we’re going to do in 2021 and beyond."
Did this conversation eventually become Johnson's new trilogy or have Disney and Lucasfilm got plans for something else? We just don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter. There seems to be an unending appetite for Star Wars movies and filmmakers to make them, so why wouldn't Disney oblige?