Guest Editorial: Why No Standalone Movie News at D23?

Every so often we like to feature guest articles on the blog from our readers. Today, allow us to introduce Josh Atkins as he takes a quick look at why we didn’t get any info at all on the Han Solo movie or any other standalone films at D23. We thought this would be a good opportunity for everyone to share their overall feelings or apprehensions about the ongoing production and the future of the Star Wars franchise. So read on for Josh’s thoughts and feel free to share your own in the comments section.




When Kathleen Kennedy told fans at this year’s Star Wars Celebration that news on the upcoming standalone films will come when they’re ready (“no need to report that to him until we have something to report” right?), most predicted that they were saving the announcement for D23, Disney’s big summer expo for all their properties.


It made sense. The Last Jedi trailer dominated Celebration in addition to big news about Star Wars: Rebels. If the other stand-alone films needed a bit more time, then D23 would be the perfect time and place to announce them, especially with the Han Solo film only 10 months from release at that point.


We know one more standalone film is coming after Episode IX, and after that remains to be seen. It’s been rumored there are at least three more stand-alone films in the pipeline, but fans may become anxious for the franchise’s future if Lucasfilm keep dragging their heels as these confirmed films get closer to their release dates. It is in our nature to look at what’s ahead instead of the now.



So why was there no announcement? Sure, we got a great behind the scenes reel for The Last Jedi; but what about the rumored Obi-Wan film? What about a potential bounty hunter ensemble movie? Nothing!


The obvious reason is that they’re just not ready to make that announcement. Whatever Josh Trank’s project was supposed to be, that film seems to have gone through a ton of different iterations since his sacking, if reports are to be believed.


It would make sense that Kathleen Kennedy would want to hold off on any announcements until they were absolutely sure of the kind of movie they’d want to make. It’s something of which I’m sure they’re especially cautious after all the last minute changes they made on Rogue One and now the Han Solo film. I imagine they want a tight premise before they reveal all. Unless she missed their mark (we doubt it) Kennedy did say they would have a decision on what the next stand alone movie would be, but perhaps they are waiting to iron out the story they want to tell before announcing it?


There’s also the fact that there are still three more movies to come before we get these stories. We still don’t know all that much about The Last Jedi, even less about Episode IX, and we know more about what’s going on behind the scenes with Han Solo than we do with the actual film itself, although Ron Howard has done a great job of calming the storm through fun with social media.



Why would Lucasfilm want to hype us up for a bunch of films that aren’t going to see the light of day for at least another two and a half years, when they already have three movies coming out before then? Surely they’d want to keep us hyped for The Last Jedi so  it can do as well as possible at the box office.


A by-product of today’s spoiler culture is that while fans are predictably excited for the next film in the saga, we can’t help but be eager to know more about what’s around the corner. Yes, the return of Luke Skywalker and the First Order backlash is exciting, but what happens next?


We’re always so hungry for news on the next big thing down the line that I can understand why Disney would like us to take a step back and savor the present instead. But on the other hand, they also know the uncertainty about the future beyond Episode IX may begin to make some fans nervous.


Ultimately I expect Kathleen Kennedy to honor her promise that an announcement will come soon.


As a wise old Jedi Master once said: “Patience you must have, my young padawan.”



Thanks, Josh! Now let’s hear from you guys… Are you nervous that they don’t seem to have a concrete plan moving forward? Or are you relieved at that assumption, understanding that they have a great opportunity to hone in on what the fans really want from the franchise in the future, playing it by ear so to speak? Let us know what you think about the future of Star Wars after Episode IX in the comments below.



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Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

Jordan Pate (Hard Case)

Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

52 thoughts on “Guest Editorial: Why No Standalone Movie News at D23?

  • August 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    After the Lord and Miller experiment, Lucasfilm will most likely have had a shift in strategy. Gone will be openings for young up and coming directors. Instead, we’ll see a return to more experienced ones at the helm. A case of once bitten, twice shy. A more cautious approach will be adopted, which will explain why we’ve yet to hear confirmation of the next stand-alone movies.

    With three movies in the immediate pipeline, time is on Lucasfilm’s side.

  • August 5, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    If they gave us more to savor the present we would certainly do that. But if it wasn’t for the leaks there’d be almost no information about TLJ compared to what we got before TFA and R1. Of course the logical response is to focus on the future when there’s not much to see in the present.

    • August 6, 2017 at 4:41 am

      You have plenty of time to savor the present. What;’s stopping you?

      • August 6, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        I can only look at the Vanity Fair images and the “trailer” so often. The movie is going to be released n 4 months but it doesn’t feel like it compared to the promotion they did before TFA and R1.

        • August 6, 2017 at 11:15 pm

          Actually, it does feel the exact same.

          TFA had a long summer lull as well. Longer in fact bc the behind the scenes trailer for TFA came at Comic Con, which was earlier than D23.

          It’s a common marketing strategy not to start your push until after the summer. No one rolls out campaigns in August. Force Friday wasn’t until September and we didn’t get the full trailer until October.

          Back then, people were saying what you are saying not. Think back. This isn’t any different. Disney knows how to market. It’s coming in the fall.

          • August 8, 2017 at 12:17 am

            They have only done this two years in a row now! I am sensing a pattern…..

          • August 8, 2017 at 1:17 am

            All Star Wars fans have short term memory loss, it seems.

  • August 5, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    The Han Solo director fiasco is the reason, plain and simple. They do not want to announce anything until they can be assured that the right people can handle it in a way that is mutually agreeable and creatively on the same page, unlike Lord and Miller.

  • August 5, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    This article was a little too fanboi-ish for me. I’d prefer a bit more critical thinking.

    How about the fact that there have been a shit-ton of missteps in Disney’s rollout of just about every Star Wars film and TV show? Sure, Episode 7 went just about perfectly, but everything else has had a lot of problems.

    Rogue One is perhaps one of my favorite SW films, but the production was not so great. Everyone knows the cluster-f that Hon Solo is going through. And no matter how Rebels fans will get all defensive about it, that show is nowhere as good or successful as it should have been. The politically-correct monstrosity that is the Forces of Destiny has been widely panned by Star Wars fans disenchanted with the use of Star Wars as a SJW tool.

    The comics have been a rare treat, as have some (but definitely not all) of the recent books.

    Perhaps Lucasfilm is wisely taking stock of some bad ideas and directions, and is doing a much-needed course correction.

    • August 5, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      This was better than the actual editorial. I do hope they change course, but I doubt it, KK strikes me as a very proud and tight person (no, I do not know her, but compare her actions and words to, say, George Lucas or Mark Hamill)

      • August 6, 2017 at 2:39 am

        Well played sir.

    • August 6, 2017 at 7:55 am

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am not the biggest fan of TFA, but while it had a troubled production at the start, at the very least it went smooth. Han Solo has been surrounded with problems and even RO, a film that I genuinely loved, had the same problem.

      LF, I truly believe are going to oversaturate the market with SWs content. Or at the very least, they are going to have some shortcomings outside the movies. And your point about Rebels is spot on. It isn’t very good. Heck, TCW; a series I wasn’t too big on is leaps and bounds above it in terms of quality. And much as I enjoyed parts of Forces of Density, like the Rey bit; she was infinitely better there than TFA in my view.

      It was very much KK mouthpiece of voicing her political agenda via virtue signaling. Something I heavily frown towards. LF, at this point, I think are at a critical point. TLJ, while I believe it will be fine, the future of the franchise I argue is in a state of flux. Especially, when given Trevorrow’s negative publicity as of recent and HS.

      And really, I do fear oversaturation of the brand is going to happen. Because, there will only be so much that casual/mainstream fans can take of stormtoopers and X-wings. So yeah, I hope that LF is taking stock of some of their actions. Other wise, SWs is going to be in some major trouble. Hence, why I loved Mr.Sunday Movies bit of LF taking a long break movie wise after episode nine.

      • August 6, 2017 at 3:23 pm

        Ah, I forgot to mention Ep. 9, thanks for bringing it up. Another potential production nightmare, with another writer brought in to apparently fix a script that isn’t working at the moment. (Which was written by Trevorrow.) Did anyone actually think Jurassic World was a great movie? I did enjoy Batteries Not Included, but I can’t imagine that’s the stuff blockbuster Star Wars movies are made of. Jurassic World was a big money-maker because people wanted to see dinosaurs, not because Trevorrow made a fabulous movie.

        • August 8, 2017 at 4:46 pm

          Yeah, Trevorrow was able to coast off of nostalgia much like Abrams did with TFA which quite frankly is unfortunate. I was comfortable with Trevorrow, assuming that Rian Johnson was going to be involved in writing. This is assuming that TLJ is fantastic. But really, Trevorrow never struck me as a good screenwriter. Which is fine. Some directors are skilled at that point and others aren’t.

          And really, I see LF hiring this new writer as a means to be more risk adverse. In other words, KK still trusts Trevorrow, but given the shareholders and the rest of the company; this writer was brought as a means to bring back some more confidence.Now, you could argue that KK’s faith is misplaced, blinded by nepotism given how Trevorrow knew KK’s husband.

          But even still, I do see this as a good move in theory. whether or not it pans out, remains to be seen. Especially, post TLJ.

    • August 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      “The politically-correct monstrosity that is the Forces of Destiny has been widely panned by Star Wars fans disenchanted with the use of Star Wars as a SJW tool.”

      Translation: The 5-minute kids’ shorts that are Forces of Destiny have been panned by a small subset of insecure, idiotic fanboys who can’t handle the fact that little girls like Star Wars, too.

      • August 6, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        On one hand you have a point. I didn’t so much mind the shorts. They could have been worse but for they were worth; they were ok.

        But really, beyond the get off my lawn type of individuals; there are legitimate critiques of KK and the use of women.SW is a diverse place. Multiple aliens and types of people. And if the goal is to have more diversity, the. I pose; why just women. I was fine with Jyn and even Celina.

        But why not focus on males who aren’t white? Poe Dameron is an excellent example with his comic. Or why not a alien character? Yeah, there is Ahsoka but that is one example.

        So while I do see your point. I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss this point. Compare SWs to something like Star Trek, and discovery withstanding; I think that franchise and how it handed representation should be something to take note for SWs. But that’s just me.

        • August 6, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          Sure, I’d be open to more non-human characters, Ahsoka being the obvious example of this working. I think Lucasfilm will probably stick to the tradition of having easily-relatable humans as the leads, but I personally don’t think that’s necessary. As for having more non-white characters, I point to Finn, Cassian, and Rose as some examples of new non-white characters, so I wouldn’t say that “too white” is a super valid criticism of Lucasfilm’s current casting choices.

          • August 6, 2017 at 8:25 pm

            I do like most of those characters, minus Finn. But really, LF I truly believe should look to how Star Trek handled itself on a TV front with developing well written characters and the idea of diversity being tied to the world. I always had an idea for example of a film or TV series staring a Kel dor. Or even an Ichtoltar.

            Legends wasn’t perfect. It had issues post RoTJ. But KOTOR/ TOR really proved the idea of having a diverse cast of new characters and aliens.

            All of which felt natural to the world. And really, I want to see that spark of creativity. But my hope is RJ and TLJ.

  • August 5, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    I hope that they announce the Obi-Wan movie by the end of this year. I think that it will only be a matter of time before Ewan McGregor gets sick of being asked if he’s doing the movie if he isn’t already sick of it.
    I’d be ok if it came out in anywhere from 2020-2024, because Ewan is still about 16 years younger than Alec Guinness was when he filmed A New Hope, so he has plenty of room before he’s too old to play an in-between Obi-Wan.
    I’d like a spin-off depicting the events of Sifo-Dyas ordering the army of clones and ultimately being assassinated. You could have cameos of familiar characters, but it could be a personal story and a political thriller.

    • August 5, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      I have a heavy feeling that despite the fans’ clamour for an Obi-Wan movie ( which I would absolutely LOVE too – it should have been the first or second spinoff movie ), we may sadly end up never getting it.

      I think KK will want to see how the Han Solo movie does, but I can envision her saying “Going forward we want to explore areas of the SW mythos we haven’t seen, so no more going back to characters we all know”.

      Complete and wild speculation on my part, but I won’t be surprised if the ultimately end up confirming that there WON’T be an Obi-Wan movie.

      • August 5, 2017 at 10:25 pm

        Yeah I can see the Solo film either getting the Obi-Wan a green light, or putting an end to exploring established characters.

        • August 6, 2017 at 1:09 pm

          I think it’s highly likely they have a number of ideas in the wings for established character stand alone films, like potentially an Obi Wan one as I expect them to follow the successful Marvel formula like everyone else.
          The key will be the success or failure of “Han Solo an Untitled Adventure” as to whether they actually get made.

      • August 5, 2017 at 11:50 pm

        There’s zero chance they pass on an Obi-Wan film. Zero. They’ll exhaust all the obvious stories (Han Solo, Obi-Wan, Boba Fett) before they ever try anything new.

  • August 5, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Yeah with all the Han Solo drama and rumored uncertainty about trevorrow I think they want get their current projects in order first. And I get it. Having so many films in various levels of production at the same time it’s hard to stay on top of it all. I’m hoping they will pump the brakes after nine with a less ambitious schedule even if we have to wait a few years for obiwan or a bounty hunter film.

    • August 5, 2017 at 10:56 pm

      Yeah, I think there’ll be a break for the saga movies after Episode 9. Think they should continue with the spin-off movies, but maybe restrict it to one new movie ever two years. Hate to see it go down the Marvel EU route, churning out average to sub-par products.

    • August 6, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      I’m sure they can stay on top of it.
      What they should be worried about is audience burn out.

      • August 6, 2017 at 4:58 pm

        I think the MCU proves that audiences can take quite a bit without “burning out” as long as the films are good.

  • August 5, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    i hope they wait at least 6 or 8 years to make episodes 10,11 and 12. what? do you think they are not going to?

    • August 6, 2017 at 12:38 am

      Honestly, I hope not..I was skeptical about VII-IX when they first announced the ST. So far they’ve been good..and I’m now welcoming them with open arms, but I don’t think they should over do it.

      • August 6, 2017 at 4:43 am

        Agreed…not sure if I need a 4th trilogy about someone from the Skywalker clan falling/balancing the force.

        • August 6, 2017 at 7:59 am

          Exactly, I mean how many times can you do a Skywalker’s story with an empire like presence in the background? Lol Now, I’d be really down for an Old Republic trilogy though.

          • August 6, 2017 at 12:51 pm

            they will and you will watch it again, just like this is the 3rd time you are watching another trilogy and even worse this one is rehashing the old trilogy. i hope they know when to stop but im afraid they dont

          • August 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm

            Out of curiosity, what could an Old Republic trilogy bring to the table? Aside from not having a Skywalker as a protagonist/antagonist. People will still compare it to what they’ve seen before, accuse it of being a rehash of X or Y.

          • August 6, 2017 at 4:58 pm

            The Old Republic has room for many new ideas. Especially since the lore hasn’t been established yet in the new canon, so who’s to say the Old Republic we know is the route Disney would take. And idk I think it’d be something fresh and something cool for the audience to see..a sort of Lord of the Rings type of movie with a bunch of Jedi and a bunch of Sith. It can also show the reason (for those who don’t know) why the Sith decided to create the rule of two, and the extent of their greed and corruption of the force.

  • August 6, 2017 at 1:05 am

    I think they may be waiting to see how things shake out with the Han Solo film and with Episode IX first before they officially greenlight the next stand-alone film, let alone announce it.

    It’s very likely that they have at least a couple of stories in development, but let’s face it… they currently have two troubled productions in front of them. The problems with the Han Solo film have been well publicized, largely because it’s nigh on impossible to fire directors in the middle of principle photography without addressing it publicly somehow. But Carrie Fisher’s passing, in addition to being heartbreaking beyond belief, also put LFL in a hell of a bind as far as Episode IX is concerned. All indications are that Leia played a pivotal role in that story, and that’s not necessarily something that can easily be written around. There is a real danger there of the film falling on its ass if Leia’s absence isn’t handled effectively, and I think KK and company know this.

    I can see where the problems with these two films, taken as a whole, might make them a bit reluctant to lock themselves into a third stand-alone film just yet. IMHO, they may be taking some extra time in coming up with a concept for that third stand-alone film that they feel is a likely home run, just in case they really need one by then.

    • August 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      Yup. Plus, I think LF can also use this as a means to get their crap together and try to prevent oversaturation. I am unsure of the latest toy and merchandise sales, but they are down. To be fair, the news for SWs has been quiet and no doubt TLJ will spike the sales for toys and memorabilia in the short run. But still, it is an issue going forward.

      Because, say what you will about TFA(I don’t like it that much), but even with its troubled production, it quickly shook it off. Though, I argue when rewatching it shows. But I digress. Regardless, LF should take a step back.

      Pick solo, anthology films that will add meaning to the brand without going back to its roots. For example, the only established character I would like to see is Obi-wan as his story arguably had a lot more to tell after ROTS and before ANH. But even then, keep that grounded.

      But beyond that; do some new stuff. Mandalorian Wars or even a film about the Wraith Squadron could be really cool. Heck, KOTOR would be dope, especially if it is after the ST.

      Overall, HS I feel like was a big kick in the rear for LF and basically KK is trying to take a step back. Whether or not it pans out, remains to be seen. I hope it does pan out. Because, outside the films, the NC has been rather decent.

  • August 6, 2017 at 1:18 am

    I just want lots of films with Daisy. If they keep doing anthologies, let her film a 30-minute intro and outro for each one.

    I kid… but maybe they should stick with what works so well. And there’s no need to be bound by the notion of a trilogy. Tell the saga story in however many chapters it takes.

  • August 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I still have a feeling that one of these standalone movies will be some kind of animated movie…..possibly a photo realistic motion capture one. My theory comes from when the first released the schedule years ago there was a film on the list called Red Five….now I know this would have been a code name but when Josh Trank got booted there was an announcement that the movie he was supposed to direct was switched with the Han Solo movie because they felt the technology for the movie needed more work . Now that would suggest it is something different to the norm. It could be they were going to do something with the original trilogy characters in animation. Another clue is Harrison Ford has said in interviews Han Solo is not dead, he’s just sleeping” this could suggest he is just messing or was expecting to return to the role in some capacity…maybe voice work…he did do the Lego Game after all. The problem now and what may have caused the delay or a complete change of plan was the death of Carrie Fisher, they may now be a little worried about about creating a photo realistic version of the character after Rogue One.

    • August 6, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      “Another clue is Harrison Ford has said in interviews Han Solo is not dead, he’s just sleeping”
      I’ve not seen this before. Where did he say that?

      • August 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        He has said it in a few but he said it to Jimmy Kimmel and also on the Star Wars show live at celebration this year when asked about the end of Han Solo….the actual phrase he says is “to quote Monty python…Im not dead….just resting”

        • August 6, 2017 at 3:11 pm

          Thanks. I’ll see if I can track that clip down.

          • August 6, 2017 at 6:05 pm

            I remember that clip too

        • August 6, 2017 at 11:18 pm

          to quote a thing that is known for satire…he was making a joke.

      • August 6, 2017 at 11:17 pm

        It was a joke.

    • August 6, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      “I still have a feeling that one of these standalone movies will be some kind of animated movie…..possibly a photo realistic motion capture one.”

      I would LOVE a Siege of Mandalore movie in the animation style of Gantz:O

    • August 6, 2017 at 5:35 pm


    • August 6, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      “Another clue is Harrison Ford has said in interviews Han Solo is not dead, he’s just sleeping”

      That was a joke.

    • August 8, 2017 at 4:36 pm

      I would love to see a SWs movie be in animated form and be a bit more serious. Rebels, I will admit; I do not like it as much as most, but even compared to TCW, it is a bit too juvenile. Understandable, given it is on DIsney XD. But really, I am craving for something like the TCW microseries by Tartakofsky; a serious SWs based movie that really highlights the style of animation it is in.

      As for what concept, I am unsure. TUD suggested the Mandalorian War, but I think that could be suited for live action. It needs to be a concept that in live action would look weird, but in animation would fit it like a glove. At least, that is my view.

  • August 7, 2017 at 2:17 am

    I thought josh trank was supposed to direct rogue one?

  • August 7, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    They are trying to get away from the LONG marketing campaigns, these movies are going to do well and they don’t need to spend as much time pushing the next project like they did for E7 and R1. I’d rather get back into a less than a year cycle for lead up to the next movie or whatnot.

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