Not too long ago, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy left a pair of statements around the time of Star Wars Celebration Orlando that appeared to be contradictory: that there were plans to potentially announce a new spin-off movie this Summer and that the next Star Wars movie wouldn’t be announced until 2018. A recent interview with Kennedy mentions that plans for future spin-offs are going to be discussed over the next few months, after the table read for Episode IX (which will be happening soon).
According to the Spanish outlet eCartelera, Kennedy is claiming that the development of spin-offs beyond Episode IX are about to kick into high gear. When asked about these spin-offs – with the rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi movie being specifically mentioned by the outlet – she answered with the following statement (rough translation):
“To be honest, we are beginning to talk about [the spin-offs] right now. We have four or five weeks immersed in the film ‘Han Solo’ and we are about to read the script of Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX directed, so we have a lot of work at the moment. In the next six or eight months we will have some meetings about the stories that we will develop here. After 40 years of adventures, fans have so much information and so many theories about the way that can take these stories and theories that emerge are sometimes new ideas for us that we hear, read and pay attention to everything what is said. It is clear that the franchise is owned by the as much by the fans as it’s owned by [the people at Lucasfilm].”
Right now, it’s looking like Episode IX is on the cusp of becoming Lucasfilm’s next big priority, and the way that things are looking with the schedule, the actual production on the film could start as early as the point where Han Solo enters post-production. As it stands, there are multiple conclusions that can be drawn from this (both of which tie in to the two statements that Kennedy made): either we’re going to get more official news about one spin-off before the year ends, or we’re going to get nothing official for a year beyond some occasional whispers. I’m personally in the camp that we will get an announcement about the 2020 movie at Disney D23, but nothing is certain. It’s curious that we’re hearing more about them as of late, as a recent rumor suggesting that Sam Esmail – the primary writer/director behind the television series Mr. Robot – could be working on a Star Wars screenplay started to make the rounds right as this story comes about. It may be possible that Lucasfilm are planning things out much further than their current, publicly-announced slate of films would indicate.
Thanks again to The Cantina user Magnar The Great for this find.