Star Wars is pretty much synonymous with “space adventure flick,” but that might not be the case for much longer. With Disney holding the Star Wars reins now, we can expect at least one new Star Wars movie per year, and not all of them will necessarily be in the genre you might expect.
Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm two years ago for $4 billion, fans of the Star Wars universe have been wondering what The Mouse is planning to do with the beloved franchise. A new Star Wars trilogy was a no-brainer, but Disney announced earlier this year that a new Star Wars movie would hit theaters each year between 2015 and 2020. That’s more years than one needs for a trilogy, so what is Disney planning to do to expand the Star Wars universe?
There will be spinoffs, of course, with recent talk focusing on fan favorites Boba Fett and Han Solo, but Lucasfilm development director Kiri Hart says that the door is pretty much wide open for new imaginings of the Star Wars universe.
“I think there are boundaries,” Hart told The Wall Street Journal, “but we don’t want to rigidly define them. it’s obviously not slapstick comedy, but there’s room for many different stories and genres that still feel like ‘Star Wars.'”
Hart didn’t elaborate much beyond that, but it leaves the door open for tons of different stories set in the world Lucas began back in 1977 with the original Star Wars. That universe has expanded to include an empire of movies, video games, toys, furniture, books, amusement park attractions, and just about anything big enough to have the Star Wars label branded on it.
For the near future, we can expect three Star Wars movies to finish off the latest trilogy, as well as three spinoff pictures. Hart has been working with creatives to flesh out concepts and make sure everything lines up.
“I’ve been sitting down with filmmakers and writers,” Hart said, “talking with them about what they love about ‘Star Wars,’ and playing matchmaker.”
She’s also been doing a bit of editing, it appears. Hart has a team of five people working with her on the continuity and timeline of the Star Wars universe. That means deciding what side Star Wars projects are “canon” and what gets left on the garbage pile. The Journal reports that Hart has done away with books that took place after Return of the Jedi, as those could contradict the forthcoming Episode VII, directed by J.J. Abrams.
The overall impact of these changes? Hart hopes that they will lead to a compelling, internally consistent Star Wars universe, one that tells the same story across books, games, movies, and even amusement park rides.
We’ll get our first glimpse of how this all lines up next year, when Episode VII hits theaters to kick off the new trilogy. Already, scant details on that production have been leaking out, revealing new spacecraft and even new villains.
It remains to be seen, though, whether the new Star Wars trilogy will be the sort of spacefaring adventure we’ve come to know and love or if Abrams and crew will use their new genre liberties to craft the political-slasher-Force-based-buddy-comedy-thriller we’ve all been dreaming of.
[Lead image via Rogue Squadron Podcast]