‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ And ‘IX’ Release Dates Confirmed, Spinoff Film To Be Based On ‘The Force Awakens’ Characters?

We all know that Disney has big plans for the Star Wars franchise. Upon buying Lucasfilm, Disney laid out their plans to eventually release a Star Wars movie every year, alternating between “Episodes” and standalone films.

So far, however, the only official release dates we’ve been given are for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the first standalone film: December 18, 2015 and December 16, 2016, respectively. Now, for the first time, we have the official plan laid out for next couple films in the main sequel trilogy, courtesy of Disney CEO Bob Iger in a Disney stockholder annual report, Get Your Geek On reports (via the Wrap).

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' hits theaters later this year on December 18th.

“As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming… and one of the fewer who’s seen most of the footage… I can assure the millions of ‘Star Wars’ fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait. And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional ‘Star Wars’ storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with ‘Episode IX’ in 2019,”

Sadly, we still only have Disney’s Star Wars plan in the broadest of strokes, as specific dates weren’t even mentioned. Based on their original plan of releasing a Star Wars film a year, it does seem safe to assume that we will be getting the second spinoff film in 2018, in between Episodes VIII and IX, Screen Crush speculates.

Han and Boba
Is a spinoff film with Han Solo and Boba Fett just a pipe dream?

The announcement also gave us no real information regarding the spin-off films, but it did give us a bit of potentially conflicting information. Iger said “we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters,” but it isn’t clear if he meant based on the characters as a whole, or based on the characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If it is indeed the latter, then this conflicts with all the rumors of having a Boba Fett and Han Solo heist flick for the first spinoff — although it is possible that Iger just had a poor choice of words. But if the implication is real, then we’ll be back at square one regarding any information we thought we had of the standalone Star Wars movies.

Does any of this news have you excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens out later this year? When do you think we’ll get an actual release date for Episodes VIII and IX? Let us know your thoughts below!

[Images Credit: Disney and Lucasfilm]