Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed that discussions are already well underway with where to take the Star Wars franchise, admitting that they have already scheduled a further decade and a half worth of films.
Bob Iger refused to go into details about what these films might actually entail, but he did admit that Lucasfilm's creative team have been very busy over the last few weeks ironing out where to take the universe after Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: Episode 9, and the still untitled Han Solo film are released. The plans presented by the creative team clearly impressed Bob Iger, as he admitted that his mind was blown after he spent the afternoon with them.
"We're just starting to talk about what happens to Star Wars after [Episode] 9. It's way too early, and certainly nothing that I can reveal, but we've got a creative team actually thinking about what could be another decade and a half of Star Wars stories. It's kind of mind-blowing to spend an afternoon with a creative team talking about that. Where could you go, where should we go?"
Bob Iger made this admission on Thursday during a talk at the USC's Marshall School Of Business (via Slash Film), where he provided various updates on the state of the Star Wars universe.
The big question now is, though, what does the future of the franchise actually look like? Star Wars Episode I - IX have revolved around the Skywalker family, introducing us to Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, while The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and the upcoming ninth film have introduced Rey and Finn.
But over recent weeks there have been inklings that the future Star Wars films will actually move away from the characters and stories of these installments. The Star Wars Cinematic Universe actually started this process recently with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which introduced a cavalcade of new characters that weren't linked to the Skywalker saga.
Gary Whitta, who originally wrote the first draft for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, recently admitted as much to Coming Soon, noting that the Anthology film was vastly different to those that had come before in the series.
"I think you've already seen us get 90 percent of the way there with Rogue One. Yes you see Leia, yes you see the Death Star and Vader, because those are elements of that story and they belong there, you can't tell that story without those characters. But for the most part, 90% of that story is completely new characters. Completely new planets and places you've never seen before. It's a Star Wars movie with no Jedi! You don't see a lightsaber once until Vader pops it out at the end. It doesn't have any spirituality or mysticism… a little bit through Donnie's character, but it's very different DNA to the Star Wars films that have come before it. I really like the fact that we tried to do something different."
This then provoked Gary Whitta to insist that the Star Wars franchise will soon move away from the "old legacy characters" and that the stories will evolve and develop on their own.
"The next spin-off is Han Solo, that's another familiar character, but I think increasingly you're going to see… One of the thing things we really want to do at Lucasfilm is create a universe and not keep relying on old legacy characters. We've got Rey and Finn and Kylo Ren, they've already introduced a new generation of characters. Whatever kind of Star Wars films they're making 10 or 20 years from now, I don't think they're going to be relying on the same legacy story elements as we have in the past."