Star Wars‘ ‘episode’ movies could finish when the current trilogy draws to a close.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released in 2015, was the seventh episode of the franchise’s main saga. Follow-up Episode VIII is expected in 2017, with Episode IX slated for a 2019 release. Spin-offs like the upcoming Rogue One will be released in the years in between.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the franchise’s producer and head of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, speculated that the franchise could only release standalone films in the future.
“That’s a conversation going on right now, too,” she said. “I have to honestly tell you, could we [do nothing but standalones]? Sure. But I don’t know. We are looking at all of that.”
“There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about,” Kennedy added. “But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII.”
“We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, ‘What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?'”
Eagerly-anticipated spin-off film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story stars Felicity Jones as mercenary Jyn Erso and opens in the UK on December 15. It then hits US screens a day later on December 16. Check out the latest photos from the film here.
The film also stars Riz Ahmed, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker and Diego Luna. It has been confirmed that the film will end 10 minutes before the original 1977 movie Star Wars: A New Hope begins.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the first in Disney’s planned “Anthology Series” of spin-off films. The series will continue with the currently untitled Han Solo prequel movie due in 2018.
It was announced in July that rising star Alden Ehrenreich has been cast as a younger version of the character made famous by Harrison Ford. A third Anthology Series film will follow in 2020, Disney has since confirmed.
In May, it was reported that Disney had ordered weeks of costly reshoots on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the goal of the reshoots will be to lighten the mood” as right now Rogue One has the “feel of a war movie”.