THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE INCLUDES MAJOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.
While Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been billed as the end of the Skywalker Saga, it certainly leaves the door open for more movies following these characters beyond connections to the biological Skywalker family.
Lucasfilm film head Kathleen Kennedy has stated in recent interviews such as with the LATimes that they won’t be abandoning these characters despite ending the Skywalker family saga and that Skywalkers could be making a return in the not too distant future.
KENNEDY: “What we’ve been focused on these last five or six years is finishing that family saga around the Skywalkers. Now is the time to start thinking about how to segue into something new and different.”
Kennedy said she plans to make key decisions about the direction of the franchise in the coming weeks. But some things she already knows. While the “Skywalker” saga is ending, the company won’t abandon the characters created in the most recent trilogy.
During the red carpet premiere of The Rise of Skywalker, Kennedy revealed that the Skywalkers could “reappear”, it’s curious if she was talking about Luke showing up the Kenobi series, the rumored internal chatter about a young Leia series or simply having Rey Skywalker continuing her own journey in new movies/television shows.
KENNEDY: “It’s a mixture of emotions, I have to say because we’ve had such an incredible time it’s just flown by these five years doing these three movies. To realize we’re completing The Saga, we’re not finishing the Skywalkers necessarily they could always, in one way or another, reappear. But for right now it is bringing it to a close.”
There is a good chance that we end up seeing future films (possibly an Episode X or whatever they end up calling it) continuing Rey’s journey to potentially create a new Jedi Order and explore the ways of the force without having to worry about a massive galactic war happening in the background.
At the end of the film, we see that Rey has travelled to Luke Skywalker’s abandoned farm/home on Tatooine to bury Luke and Leia’s lightsabers.
And it’s revealed that she has built her very own yellow lightsaber (looks like it has parts from her quarterstaff), telegraphing that she will now go on a brand new path beyond the Skywalker Saga and has now adopted the Skywalker name becoming Rey Skywalker (this suggests the film’s title refers to both Ben Solo and Rey).
In the film, we also see that John Boyega’s Finn is indeed force sensitive and while he might be too old for the traditional training there is a chance that he could develop his force abilities to become a student of Rey among others in a new Jedi Order.
Rey like Empire Palpatine now has access to all the various fallen Jedi from “a thousand generations”, which includes from those from the Clone Wars era (Order 66 purge) and possibly from The Old Republic era as well.
This new connection to legendary Jedi masters could give her much more insight into Jedi training and ethos beyond the ancient Jedi text that she rescued from Ach-To, leading to her training the next generation of Jedi.
Another way to go would be to see Rey travel into the Unknown Regions to explore what else is out there beyond Exegol: The Sith Home Planet. This could lead to brand new threats and possibly new allies. Also, allowing the inhabitance of the main Star Wars galaxy to enjoy peace for a good chunk of time after the massive causalities incurred during the last three Saga movies.
I’m slightly curious if Lucasfilm has any current plans for Episode X and if this has anything to do with projects already in development at the studio or if they’ll pursue shows on Disney+.
It’s doubtful the next film would end up being Episode X, mainly, because you would kind of want to give the cast and characters some time to breath. Similar to the original trilogy to the prequels to the current trilogy.
Starting back up in a good five or more years sounds about right, if not longer.
While Kennedy has mentioned the restrictive nature of trilogies, Disney CEO Bob Iger hasn’t completely ruled them out while speaking with Variety. Sticking with one film at a time instead might be the way to go for the future if that leads to them wanting to make two sequels to add-up to a trilogy, great.
— Variety (@Variety) December 17, 2019
There have been reports that Lucasfilm will announce their plans and possibly a director for the untitled Star Wars 2022 installment next month, which is set to be released officially on December 16th, 2022 and we hope it’s someone already connected to the franchise.
I think a lot of Star Wars fans are hoping that The Mandalorian director Deborah Chow ends up directing that next Star Wars more if her schedule allows for it. Given that she has directed what most consider the strongest two episodes of The Mandalorian and will be directing the untitled Kenobi series for Disney+ starring Ewan McGregor as Ben Kenobi during his time on Tatooine between Revenge of The Sith/A New Hope (shoots next summer).
Chow has certainly proven herself to Lucasfilm that she can do special things within the franchise and many critics of the studios’ hiring policies for the feature films have been pointing out for years they’ve only hired white male directors. She’ll now have two Star Wars shows under her belt, the second one (Kenobi) looks like she’ll tackle herself making Deborah an excellent and trusted candidate to direct the next movie, whatever that looks like.
There was a report from BuzzFeed that a script for a feature film project (that could lead to a trilogy of films) was being penned by screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis and would take place during the Old Republic era of the Star Wars universe.
Laeta’s credits include the Netflix cyberpunk series Alter Carbon, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, James Cameron’s Avatar, Alita: Battle Angel, and the original script for Ghost In The Shell.
This has yet to be confirmed by trades or announced officially by Disney/Lucasfilm.
However, Kathleen Kennedy did admit to MTVNews during Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago that they were indeed developing an Old Republic project, but didn’t clarify any further.
MTV: Knights of The Old Republic, a lot of fans wanna see that, is there any development of that?
KENNEDY: “You know, we talk about that all the time. Yes, we are developing something to look at. Right now, I have no idea where things might fall..”
The Old Republic gives the studio much more creative room to try brand new things and not really have to worry about adapting pre-existing characters given how large of a time period it is. Despite plenty of fan demand to just adapt the Knights of The Old Republic video game (I have my doubts Kennedy wants to adapt video stories), which seems like it would be just as much a minefield as the last trilogy as fan expectations/mind canon theories could be just as crazy demanding and they would be beheld to existing stories/characters again, not branching off to do something fresh.
While I do like some of the more recent armor stuff, as they’ve moved away from the robes, I do think they’d have to pivot from the main visual style of the games to make the Old Republic clearly different enough from the nine saga films, considering it would be extremely further in the past that era’s visual palette should reflect that (the video game stuff mostly looked like reskinned stuff from the films).
It’s also been reported recently that Star Wars 2022 won’t be either the start of Rian Johnson’s movies or that Kevin Feige-produce project, the latter is said to be a ways off according to Kathleen Kennedy. Statements made by both Johnson and Feige give the impression they’ll be tackling new corners of the Star Wars universe, rather than continuing previous stories/characters which is exciting as new ideas/takes are a welcomed.
The David Benioff and D.B. Weiss project could move forward without them, but if that was to happen Lucasfilm likely would have announced that to coincide with the Game of Thrones duo’s exit. An unconfirmed trade report said that it would have tackled the origins of the Jedi, which likely suggests that would take place many generations before the Old Republic as they were already long-established having armies of Jedi fighting the Sith Empire over multiple wars.
Again, whatever places these new movies away from the Lucas stuff is fine by me as the Disney+ shows are seemingly where Lucasfilm plans to fill gaps and further explore characters from the movies. Basically becoming the live-action version of the novels and comics that proceeded the original trilogy.
This seems like the best way to go with the Skywalker Saga ending and while also no completely sever ties it.
You could even do a Disney+ series that connects to things like the recent canon video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
I think it’ll be certainly interesting to see what the next step will be and moving forward with original stuff shouldn’t be as scary as some are making it out to be. The overreliance on existing characters and the Lucas films I do feel like has been a major issue and while The Mandalorian is essentially a re-packaged version of the Boba Fett movie turned into a series, the slight alterations have worked out for the most part and fans are indeed willing to support new stuff.
However, things like Clone Wars, Rebels, Rogue One, and even The Mandalorian have been so closely tied to the original Skywalker Saga that they slightly missed the mark from being truely their own thing despite adding a lot of new stuff to the Star Wars universe in the process.
I’d kind of love to see either Rian or Kevin explore the Unknown Regions as it’s own thing as well, which like The Old Republic would give the studio/filmmakers the creative freedom to move beyond the Lucas movies and create new paths to grow the franchise.