It's official: Disney and Lucasfilm will release a Star Wars movie every year long after your mortal soul has vanished from this Earth. Yes, your children, your grandchildren, and their children will be handing over their money for tickets, toys, games, and whatever other merchandising opportunities our ancestors think up for decades to come. And who could blame them? Making Star Wars is basically like printing money.
But with comes a lot of key questions. We do our best to address the five biggest questions facing fans today.
When will it take place?
Well, the best guess we have right now is that it will not take place during the timeline of the current nine movies. Considering in its original announcement, Disney made perfectly clear that these three new movies will be "separate from the episodic Skywalker saga." Now it's possible that these movies are taking place in a different part of the galaxy vastly removed from the events of the Skywalkers, but that's unlikely. It would be hard to place two massive intergalactic conflicts at the same time without overlapping characters. So it's more likely that this new series will take either long before or long after the events that we all know so well. And considering there's thousands of years of Jedi history—in books, video games, comics, and more—Disney and Lucasfilm has quite a bit of material to pick from.
Who will it be about?
Given the original announcement, it seems like it will have nothing to do with any of the characters we currently know. Now, if we want to get technical, the announcement only specified the "Skywalker saga." Maybe it's possible Rey—if she's not a Skywalker after all—could be part of these new movies. But even then, that would feel like a continuation of the current series. It's also likely, since he's hundreds of years old, Yoda could appear in any set of movies taking place long in the future. As one :
It makes me wonder if this new trilogy was spawned from something Rian wrote for VIII or if it was a completely different idea from someone else that they wanted him back to direct. Like, as an example, we think we know that Luke is going to show Rey some early force teachings, and I wonder if Rian had so much he wanted to delve into there that he pitched an idea of a whole new trilogy.
This is an intriguing idea, which opens up the possibility of an Origins of the Jedi series or The First Jedi or Knights of the Old Republic, the last of which was explored in the beloved classic RPG series.
How will this work with the stand-alone movies and main saga?
Again, the best guess at this point is that the Skywalker storyline is likely done. I don't doubt that Disney would love to put subtle references or Easter Eggs into whatever comes next, but you probably shouldn't expect to see any of these characters again. Which is good! They shouldn't drag it on too long. I don't really have any interest in seeing Luke's great grandchildren do the same shit that he and his father did. If that's the case, then it's unlikely that they will continue the same numbering sequence as the current movies. This will be an entirely new series of movies, numbered I, II, and III.
Now, that doesn't really answer what will become of the stand-alone Star Wars films. I'd think they'll still use those to fill in small gaps of story (along with years between main films). And it's possible those would continue to take place during the Skywalker years. Obviously, Disney isn't going to give up another opportunity to release a movie every year.
Why Rian Johnson?
As we've seen in recent months, Disney and Lucasfilm is having a hell of a time working with directors. And it's clear, given the reportedly smooth sailing of The Last Jedi, the studio has really enjoyed working with Johnson. But beyond that, they must have a lot of confidence in Johnson's The Last Jedi, which should bode well for the quality of the next movie due out next month. Which brings us to the next question...
Should fans be worried?
It's always important to be skeptical, as one Reddit user pointed out "Hate to play the Devil's advocate, but this could also mean they just find Rian Johnson very easy and economical to work with—Star Wars is going to print money in any case." And that's true, Lucasfilm clearly wants as much creative control as possible, so it's likely Johnson gives them that. Of course, there's also always a worry that the more movies Disney and Lucasfilm makes, the more chances they have to screw up the most beloved sci-fi franchise of all time. That's totally fair. But keep in mind that Johnson's previous sci-fi work has been among the best of this decade. Plus, if Disney and Lucasfilm have this much confidence in him, we should too, at least until we see how The Last Jedi turns out.