Now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters, it’s time to start thinking about the next Star Wars movie. But even that is just scratching the surface. You don’t have to wait until 2017 for more Star Wars adventures because there are plenty of books and a TV series to check out while waiting for Episode VIII and the Han Solo stand-alone film.
Here’s a look at what we have to look forward to in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi – December 15, 2017
In July 2016, writer/director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) announced on Twitter that production on Star Wars: Episode VIII has finished. Of course, that means that only one step of filmmaking. The film doesn’t come out until December 15, 2017, so he has plenty of time to complete post-production before we see it.
We don’t know too much about The Last Jedi, but it does go back to the main Skywalker family plot. Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran are in the film. A Vanity Fair preview revealed their roles in the movie and more details about the project.
In December, Driver, who plays Kylo Ren, came up with an ingenious idea for promoting Episode VIII. He told CinemaBlend that he thought the movie should open without a trailer. “I think that’d be bold. I’d love it, yeah! Then no one would know anything. The less people know, I feel like, the more exciting… the more of an event it is,” Driver said.
Of course, that won’t really happen in the current Hollywood climate, where we have teasers for teasers for trailers for movies, but it would be a cool idea.
Young Han Solo Movie – May 25, 2018
The Young Han Solo stand-alone movie will return Star Wars to its proper place on the calendar: May. The Force Awakens changed that in 2015, but it was such a great idea that Disney released Rogue One and scheduled Episode VIII for December. Unless something changes, the Young Han Solo movie is scheduled for May 25, 2018.
The film will star Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!, Rules Don’t Apply) as Han Solo, with Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. The female lead role, which is still unknown, will be played by Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones).
Woody Harrelson has also joined the film to play Han’s mentor. Notably, the casting announcement dropped the May 2018 release date, lending some credence to a rumor that the film will be delayed until December 2018.
The LEGO Movie team Christopher Miller and Phil Lord are directing. The script was written by Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens) and his son, Jon Kasdan.
Star Wars: Episode IX – May 23, 2019
All we know about Episode IX is that Colin Treverrow (Jurassic World) is directing. Johnson worked on the first draft of the script to keep continuity between his film and Episode IX.
Beyond this film, we don’t know the future of Star Wars at the cinema. It’s rumored that a Boba Fett stand-alone was in the works and Josh Trank (Fantastic Four) was going to direct. He left that project, putting it on the back-burner.
In an Entertainment Weekly interview, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that even she’s not sure if there will be more films in the main saga or if they will focus on stand-alone films after IX comes out.
“There are [possible movies] that we have been talking a lot about,” Kennedy told EW. “But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII. We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?”
Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD Saturdays
If you can’t wait until 2017 for more Star Wars, you can always tune in to Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD. The show is currently in its third season and doesn’t return until January 7. So, now is the perfect time to get caught up.
Rebels began five years before A New Hope, so the Rebellion is even more skeletal than what we see in Rogue One. In fact, there isn’t really a Rebel Alliance yet, just separate cells throughout the galaxy who help each other out and are united by their cause: to stop the Empire. It also explores the Force in more depth than expected, as Ezra Bridger and his master, Kanan Jarrus, learn more about it.
Marvel Comics & Del Rey Provide Plenty of Reading Material
For veracious readers, now is the best time to be a Star Wars fan, since everything is part of the new canon. All of Del Rey’s novels and Marvel’s comic books are part of the franchise and help explain some things that the movies can’t. They provide background for events and even explain how major events unfolded. Del Rey has also published Catalyst, a novel by James Luceno that leads up to the events in Rogue One.
For example, the third book in Chuck Wending’s Aftermath trilogy will include the Battle of Jakku. This was the Galactic Empire’s last stand and came a year after the Battle of Endor (seen in Return of the Jedi). Wendig’s Aftermath: Empire’s End will be released on February 21, 2017.
On the comics side of things, Marvel has three series going right now. Doctor Aphra follows the fan-favorite archaeologist who was featured in the 25-issue Darth Vader series and takes place after A New Hope. Since Aphra is an all-new character, this series gets to explore more parts of the canon Star Wars universe that we haven’t seen yet.
Poe Dameron follows Oscar Isaac’s The Force Awakens character in the years before that film began. Written by Charles Soule, the series started with Poe’s mission to find Lor San Tekka, but has expanded to include Poe’s other missions for the Resistance.
The third series is Star Wars, which follows Luke, Han and Leia between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
In February 2017, Marvel will start the five-issue miniseries Darth Maul, which follows Maul’s training before The Phantom Menace. Cullen Bunn is writing, with Luke Ross as the artist.