New Star Wars Movie Plans May Finally Mean the Return of Sequel Trilogy Era

Disney confirms that the new movie from Lost and Watchmen writer Damon Lindelof will continue the Sequel Trilogy, but not in the way you'd expect.

Star Wars may have started out as the adventure of a young man who escapes his desert planet to save the galaxy, but it has evolved into so much more than just the story of Luke Skywalker and his family. While Skywalkers are never too far away (see Luke’s appearances in The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, which also featured Princess Leia), series such as the military tale in The Bad Batch and the political drama Andor have expanded the franchise beyond the core film saga.

However, these spinoffs do so in close proximity to the Prequel and Original Trilogies, fleshing out the lives of characters before or after the events of their respective big-screen adventures. It’s an approach which has led Disney+ to carve out its own post-Return of the Jedi shared universe on the small screen, with The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and upcoming shows Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew exploring what’s going on in the galaxy five years after the fall of the Empire on Endor. While not as connected, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor also both chronicle what life was like under the Galactic Empire before the rise of the Rebellion. Another series, The Acolyte, will be set about 100 years before the entire Skywalker Saga, introducing us to yet another corner of the galaxy far, far away.

The latter project might make you wonder why Lucasfilm is tackling something set a century before even The Phantom Menace before solidifying plans to revisit its most recent film trilogy. The studio has yet to officially announce any plans to go back to the Sequel Trilogy era, whether through new series or a movie, and last time we heard about Rey, she was still watching twin suns on Tatooine. But that doesn’t mean Lucasfilm isn’t potentially working on new Sequel era adventures in secret…

According to findings by The Hollywood Reporter, the Sequel Trilogy era will reportedly serve as the setting for Damon Lindelof’s (Watchmen, Lost) recently uncovered Star Wars movie. Working alongside co-writer Justin Britt-Gibson (The Strain), Lindelof is allegedly creating a standalone movie set sometime “after the events of 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, although it would not be a continuation of the Skywalker saga,” per the outlet. The movie will be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who previously helmed two episodes of Ms. Marvel for Disney+, and could “feature some of the characters from the Star Wars Trilogy made in the 2010s.”

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While it’s important to note that Lucasfilm has not confirmed any details about what Lindelof, Britt-Gibson, and Obaid-Chinoy are working on (or that they’re even working on anything Star Wars), this is not the first time we’ve heard the studio is considering going back to Rey, Finn, Poe, and friends — or at least the time period they adventured in. In fact, the report tracks with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy’s own words earlier this year.

“We’re moving further beyond the existing sequels as we look to our movie space,” Kennedy told Empire in May. “[The sequel era] is what we talk a lot about in terms of where we’re going with our movies, and just how far out from that we’ll go. That’s very much the space we’re concentrating on.”

Kennedy echoed this in an interview with Total Film, saying that there was “no hesitancy” to push past the nine-film Skywalker movies: “We need to create a whole new saga. That takes a lot. There’s a lot of conversation around that.”

Before it was quietly removed from the Disney movie slate, Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron was described as a film that would “move the saga into the future era of the galaxy.” Assuming “future era” meant “after the Sequel Trilogy,” it’s possible this movie would have also provided a good opportunity to bring back Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, the best starfighter pilot in the galaxy. How Lindelof, Britt-Gibson, and Obaid-Chinoy would incorporate characters from the Sequel Trilogy in their mystery movie remains to be seen.

And would any of the central actors of the Sequel Trilogy even want to make a galactic comeback? When asked at the BAFTAs in March whether she’d like to return to Star Wars, Daisy Ridley cryptically responded, “I’ll always be Rey.”

Meanwhile, John Boyega is over it for the moment: “At this point, I’m cool off it. I’m good off it,” the Finn actor told Sirius XM in August. “I think Finn is at a good confirmation point where you can just enjoy him in other things, the games, the animation. But I feel like VII to IX was good for me.”

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Casting aside, one thing is for certain: the freedom offered by a post-Sequel Trilogy era movie would best fit Lindelof’s strengths as a storyteller. For better or for worse, Lindelof has made a name for himself by exploring new angles on familiar concepts or franchises while subverting expectations along the way, particularly with HBO’s Watchmen, which took a unique and critically-acclaimed approach to continuing the saga first introduced in Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel. By going beyond The Rise of Skywalker, Lindelof has the opportunity to chase new ideas free of Skywalker drama, while recapturing the essence of what made the movies that came before great.

Just don’t expect to see this top-secret project any time soon, as it is said to still be in early development. It might be a while before we see any of our Sequel Trilogy friends again, but it sounds like Lucasfilm is at the very least planning to give us this reunion down the line. In the meantime, you can check out the complete schedule of upcoming Star Wars movies and TV series here.