Constantly in movement is the future for Star Wars, particularly when it comes to the franchise’s film business. On Thursday, Lucasfilm and Disney upgraded Star Wars fans on an advancement that felt inevitable: The Patty Jenkins-directed dogfighting film Star Wars: Rogue Squadron isn’t occurring, at least, not by that task’s planned December 2023 release date. It might not be happening at all, ever.
Star Wars fans who long to see the franchise go back to theater will have to wait till December 2025, at the earliest. That’s when Disney theoretically plans to release an untitled Star Wars movie, without any clear indication of what it’s about or who’s making it. Another untitled Star Wars movie is on the books for 2027. Very same story.
News of yet another Star Wars movie disappearing from Disney’s schedule now feels routine. Projects set in a galaxy far, far are announced, frequently with marquee directors and authors connected, only to blow over or frustratingly go missing out on in action. While the Disney-owned Marvel Studios offers clear direction on its theatrical slate extending to 2025, covering at least nine function films, Star Wars fans do not understand when, or even if, the franchise will ever reasonably return to theaters.
Currently, Star Wars fans’ best hope seems to be the planned Star Wars theatrical project from writer-director Taika Waititi, who’s coming off the tepidly received Thor: Love and Thunder, a possibly stressing bellwether. In-development jobs embeded in the Star Wars galaxy from filmmakers Josh Trank, Colin Trevorrow, Patty Jenkins, and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have actually been scrapped or died after those directors’ particular Hollywood misfires. (Fantastic Four, The Book of Henry, Marvel Female 1984, and Game of Thrones’ ending.) Given Star Wars’ recent unsteady history with luring in and after that losing skill, it isn’t a sure thing that Waititi’s strategy to broaden the galaxy with new characters and worlds will ever come to fulfillment.
The same is true for Rian Johnson’s announced Star Wars series, announced more than five years back. With Johnson both a target of Star Wars’ fans ire for his storytelling choices in The Last Jedi and a trilogy of Knives Out movies to conclude at Netflix, it’s not hard to envision that he’ll eventually walk away from the project in favor of something more comfy. But at least Johnson himself appears positive, recently informing Indiewire his Star Wars task is “just at this moment a matter of schedule and when it can occur. It would break my heart if I were completed, if I could not get back in that sandbox eventually.”
There’s likewise the vaporous Star Wars film indicated to be produced by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, which looks like something Feige is far too hectic to do today. (The author on that job, Loki series developer and Medical professional Weird in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron, stated he was “busy, off writing this little Star Wars motion picture” back in Might, the only real indication of life there.)
If any of those projects do occur, they could be embeded in a heretofore untouched period of Star Wars, post-Episode IX– The Increase of Skywalker. “We’re moving even more beyond the existing sequels as we aim to our film area,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy informed Empire at this year’s Star Wars Event.” [The sequel age] is what we talk a lot about in terms of where we’re choosing our movies, and simply how far out from that we’ll go. That’s very much the space we’re concentrating on.”
For now, Lucasfilm appears material on holding on to the past, and to Disney Plus television series, for Star Wars storytelling opportunities. There’s the prequel-to-a-prequel Andor, which will flesh out the story of the Disobedience in the lead as much as the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; the post-Return of the Jedi-set series Ahsoka, The Mandalorian, and Skeleton Crew; and The Acolyte, a less nostalgia-reliant journey into Star Wars’ past, set 100 years prior to the events of George Lucas’ prequel era.
Whether Star Wars can be tugged back into its future, and once again cast onto the silver screen, remains to be seen. It may not matter: Star Wars is often much better when new films aren’t coming out and dominating the cultural conversation. But Star Wars fans are used to waiting to return to the theater: A 16-year gap separated Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Hazard at the cineplex, after all. They may be in for yet another lengthy lesson in persistence.