Hard to see, the future of the Star Wars movies is... With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker having brought the Skywalker saga to an end, where exactly the series will go next is anybody's guess. We do know, though, that a new Star Wars movie will be directed by Taika Waititi, but whether that's the project set to blast into cinemas in December 2022 is unknown. Disney and LucasFilm are being more careful with their plans than R2-D2 with a message for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Despite the secrecy, we do know quite a lot about what's coming next – as the immediate future of Star Wars isn't set to be on the big screen, but on the small. With the success of The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars on Disney Plus, we're getting a barrage of new Star Wars shows, including The Bad Batch, a Kenobi series, and a Rogue One spin-off. There's even been talk of spin-offs from the spin-offs. Be in no doubt then, there's a lot of Star Wars content coming our way. For more on all the new Star Wars movies and shows, read on...
- How to watch all the Star Wars movies in order
- Best Star Wars movies, ranked!
- Star Wars timeline explained
- Disney Plus bundles
What new Star Wars movie is coming in 2022?
Release date: December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024 and December 18, 2026
After what felt like an eternity of waiting, Disney finally announced who will direct the next Star Wars movie. Despite the director previously rubbishing reports, Taika Waititi has since been confirmed as the director of an upcoming Star Wars movie, which he will co-write with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who helped script the Oscar-nominated 1917 and Edgar Wright's upcoming movie Last Night in Soho.
No other details have yet been announced other than the movie will be heading to cinemas in the future. Indeed, there's no official confirmation that Taika's movie will necessarily be the December 2022 release, though this seems likely.
Taika will have a lot on his plate. the director is currently working on the script to Thor: Love and Thunder, which will release in February 2022, and a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory animated series for Netflix.
There are, of course, potential other directors who could be helming the next major Star Wars release. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were originally meant to spearhead the trilogy but were reportedly too busy making shows for Netflix after signing a nine-figure deal with the streaming service in 2019.
There have been rumours that the upcoming movie could be set a few hundred years before the first movie in the prequels, in the time of the Old Republic. The obvious source of inspiration here could be the Knights of the Old Republic video game series – though these are all rumours, with nothing set in stone.
Intriguingly, LucasFilm has announced a new series of books and comics, set in the Star Wars Universe, which will centre on the High Republic. The stories will take place 200 years prior to The Phantom Menace and “will not overlap any of the filmed features or series currently planned for production." Does that mean they are saving the era of the Old Republic, 3,600 years before the Skywalker saga? For now, we can hope...
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: The Last Jedi 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, Johnson's still on board, the director having taken to Twitter to respond to rumours the project had been abandoned.
We don't know very much about this new Star Wars movie trilogy, but Johnson will write and direct the first entry. He's previously spoken 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.
Kevin Feige's Star Wars movie
Release date: Unknown
Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige has been brought on board to help shape the future of Star Wars. Disney co-chairman Alan Horn said in a statement: "We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on… With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together."
Feige, meanwhile, has apparently approached a "major actor" about a role in the upcoming unnamed Star Wars movie according, to one source close to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie may even lead to a larger position working within LucasFilm for the producer.
Little else is known about the movie and Feige's role at LucasFilm – though expect more reports to emerge over the next few years. Could he pick up where Benioff and Weiss left off? We wouldn't put it past LucasFilm to hand Feige the reigns to their first post-Rise of Skywalker trilogy.
J.D. Dillard's Star Wars movie
Release date: Unknown
Reports emerged in February that J.D. Dillard — best known for the film Sleight — is working on a feature-length project with Luke Cage and Agents of SHIELD scribe Matt Owens. The Hollywood Reporter first announced the news, with Deadline claiming that the movie would be set on the Sith planet Exegol (though the accuracy of the setting has been questioned). Neither publication was able to confirm whether the movie would debut in cinemas or on Disney Plus. Little else is known about the project, other than it's unrelated to Feige's pitch.
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 The Rise of Skywalker. 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 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 morphed into The Mandalorian (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 Plus spin-off series telling the tale of the wise Jedi Knight between Episodes III and IV. But before that, some more on The Mandalorian...
The Mandalorian season 2 and 3
Release date: Season 1 streaming on Disney Plus. The Mandalorian season 2 coming October 2020
There's a new gunslinger in town, and his name is Dyn Jarren. Before the first season of The Mandalorian (or, as it's affectionately known, the Baby Yoda show) reached Disney Plus, we had confirmation that season 2 was being developed. Disney later confirmed the show would return in October.
In April 2020, a new report signalled that, despite season 2 still having yet to air, a third season has entered development. Of course, we haven't seen a trailer yet for season 2, so we know even less about season 3. Still, it's exciting how much faith Disney has in their new series.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus series
Release date: rumoured to be 2022
Hello there! Just a week before Disney's bi-annual D23 expo, reports emerged that an Obi-Wan Kenobi TV show was on the way, with Ewan McGregor back as the Jedi Master. At the event, McGregor joined Kathleen Kennedy on stage to confirm that yes, finally, he would be returning to the iconic role in a new series. The Scottish actor hasn’t played Obi-Wan Kenobi on-screen since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith – although he made a brief return in a voice cameo during Rey’s vision in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
At this early stage, not much else is known about the Obi-Wan Kenobi series. There have been some rewrites to the scripts, though the details are not known. "They're still shooting towards having the film [show] release when it was going to be originally," McGregor said in an interview. Hopefully, that's sooner rather than later, because we can't wait for our Kenobi fix.
Rogue One Disney Plus spin-off
Release date: rumoured to be 2021
A little less high profile, but still noteworthy nonetheless. There's a Rogue One prequel coming to Disney Plus, with Diego Luna reprising his role as Rebel Alliance spy Cassian Andor and Alan Tudyk returning 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.
The Bad Batch
Release date: 2021
A Star Wars: The Clone Wars spinoff series is coming to Disney Plus in 2021, and it's all about the Bad Batch.
We saw the rag-tag of defective clones in the Clone Wars, but now the gang – formed of soldiers who all have unique powers and psychological issues – are getting a spin-off, headed up by Dave Filoni. The series will follow the Bad Batch's journey after Order 66 as they take on daring mercenary missions and struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose. A tentative release date of 2021 has been announced.
The Mandalorian spin-offs
Release date: Unknown
Speaking at Disney's investors call in 2020, Disney CEO Bob Iger teased the potential for spin-offs from the Star Wars spin-off show, The Mandalorian. He said: "The priority in the next few years is television with The Mandalorian season 2 coming in October, and then more coming from The Mandalorian thereafter, including the possibility of infusing it with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series."
Does that mean a Baby Yoda... we mean, 'The Child' show is on the way? We can only hope, dream, and pray to the Whills.
New "female led" Star Wars spin-off
Release date: Unknown
Just a week after The Mandalorian season 3 entered development, news emerged that a "female-centric" new Star Wars series is currently being worked on, with Leslye Headland – the co-creator and executive producer of the Netflix series Russian Doll – on board as showrunner. Details of the plot and setting are currently under wraps, but sources say it will be "takes place in a different part of the Star Wars timeline than other projects". On Star Wars Day 2022, Disney confirmed this series has been commissioned.
There have been numerous rumours that Rosario Dawson recently joined The Mandalorian cast as Ahsoka Tano and could potentially get her own spin-off series. Likewise, we've heard numerous times that a Doctor Aphra series could be coming. Whatever the case, we're excited to see where the future of Star Wars takes us.