The credits will roll on the saga-concluding Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker and then all will be quiet in the galaxy far, far way — at least as far as the movies go. According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who spoke to EW at Star Wars Celebration 2019, Star Wars movies are going on hiatus after this year’s installment.
“We’re going to take a hiatus for a couple of years,” Kennedy told EW. “And we’re taking the time to really look at where this is going from the standpoint of a saga.”
When Disney announced its original slate of movies in 2012, which included a whole new trilogy as well as “additional features” — three spinoffs by 2020 — it seemed that Star Wars‘ destiny as a yearly big-screen event was all but locked in. What changed? Likely the poor box office performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story, a spinoff that was mired in behind-the-scenes drama almost from the start. The Han Solo origin story only made about $393 million worldwide — a disaster, considering every other Disney Star Wars movie has made over $1 billion.
While there’s a good chance that the final chapter of the Sequel Trilogy will perform a bit better, it’s no surprise that Lucasfilm wants to take a step back and regroup. Kennedy said that the break will allow the studio to map out what’s next for Star Wars.
“We’re not just looking at what the next three movies might be, or talking about this in terms of a trilogy. We’re looking at: What is the next decade of storytelling?”
While the Boba Fett spinoff has been canceled and the rumored Obi-Wan movie has likely been scrapped, there are still a few movies in development that may make it onto Lucasfilm’s slate in the future. Kennedy confirmed that movies from Game of Thrones creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff as well as a new trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson are still in the works.
“As they finish Game of Thrones, they’re going to segue into Star Wars,” Kennedy said of Benioff and Weiss. “They’re working very closely with Rian.”
Kennedy also teased that Lucasfilm is looking for ways to depart the Skywalker era in which all Star Wars movies have so far taken place. We’ve heard rumors that the Weiss and Benioff movie takes place in the fan-favorite Old Republic era, but Kennedy stopped short of confirming as much.
“Yes, absolutely. I think that that’s absolutely on the horizon,” she said about releasing a movie much farther back in the Star Wars timeline. “We’re looking at whether we can move massively in one direction of the other. It’s still Star Wars, and holding on to the DNA of what George created is still very important to us.”
While the wait for what will come after Episode IX may feel far away, it sounds like it might at least be worth it. For now, we have one last movie, which opens on Dec. 20, as well as The Mandalorian live-action series, which will premiere on Disney+ on Nov. 12.