Solo: A Star Wars Story, easily topped the box office charts, earning an estimated $83 million over the first three days of the weekend and anticipating more than $100 million over the full, four-day period. Though those numbers fell quite a bit short of early, more optimistic projections, director Ron Howard noted that it marked a personal best for him.
Where, then, does the Star Wars universe go from here? Will Disney continue to release one new Star Wars film annually? Here are the next three movies we're anticipating, plus other projects that have been officially announced.
Star Wars: Episode IX
In September 2017, J.J. Abrams was announced as the director of the concluding installment in the sequel trilogy. Abrams is cowriting the film with Chris Terrio (Argo; Justice League).
We understand the film will conclude the so-called Skywalker saga that began a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The legacy of Leia (the late Carrie Fisher) will likely play a key role as well. Beyond that, we have little idea what to expect.
Production is scheduled to begin in July. The film is set for release on December 20, 2019.
In August 2017, we heard that director Stephen Daldry (The Reader) was in talks to direct a film revolving around Obi-Wan Kenobi. Rumors have continued to circulate since then, mostly about Ewan McGregor returning to star as the character he first portrayed in George Lucas' prequel trilogy, but no confirmations have been made. We also haven't heard anything about a possible writer.
All this could simply mean that Disney and Lucasfilm are still lining up a creative team to their satisfaction, including not only a director but also a writer and producer. If Disney holds true to their annual release plan, the film could theoretically start production next year and open in theaters in December 2020.
We just heard, unofficially, that James Mangold (Logan) is working on a Boba Fett movie, which would revolve around the bounty hunter first seen in the original Star Wars trilogy. Reportedly, Mangold is writing the screenplay, possibly in collaboration with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Apocalypse), and will direct.
Mangold is about to start production on his next film, Ford v. Ferrari and Kinberg is still finishing post-production on his directorial debut, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, currently due to open in theaters on February 14, 2019. If everything comes together, this film could possibly hit theaters in December 2021.
The Next Trilogy
In November 2017, Rian Johnson was announced as the creator of a new Star Wars trilogy. He will write and direct the first movie in the trilogy, which will be separate from the Skywalker saga and will "introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored."
The following month, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released, sparking considerable discussion about its treatment of iconic characters like Luke Skywalker. Naturally, this raised a lot of questions.
Johnson has acknowledged the challenges involved: "Once you get past the things that are the iconography of Star Wars — once you say, okay, if it doesn't have the Falcon; if it doesn't have someone with Skywalker as their last name; if we don't go to Tatooine, what is it? What is it at its essence?”
No release dates have been set for the new trilogy.
Other New Projects
In February 2018, it was announced that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will write and produce a new series of Star Wars films, separate from both the Skywalker saga and the Rian Johnson trilogy. A month later, Jon Favreau was named an executive producer and writer for a new live-action series for Disney's new streaming platform, which has not yet launched.
Benioff and Weiss are still working on the final season of Game of Thrones, while Favreau is busy directing The Lion King. Both are due for release next year, which leaves plenty of time to raise new questions about what, exactly, they will be doing.