Comic Con 2015 officially gets underway tonight in San Diego, but a leaked photo, reportedly from the Star Wars briefing scheduled for Friday, looks to lay out Lucasfilm & Disney’s plans for the franchise through 2020. There’s no official confirmation from Lucasfilm that the picture is authentic, but given the similarity in format to MCU unveilings, and its closeness to the announcement yesterday about the Han Solo film and rumors of an Obi-Wan film, I think this is your next six Star Wars movies, fellow Force nuts. The picture was apparently snapped by a convention staffer during a run-through of the briefing.
The only film on the slate that has had no official confirmation is Star Wars Kenobi: Balance of the Force. This is not; however, the first time that an Obi-Wan spin-off has come up. I’ve been hearing rumors about Ewan McGregor returning to reprise his role as the Jedi master for over a year, ranging from early rumors that had him as a ghost in Episode VII, to a spin-off, to a whole trilogy of his own that would also involve the resurrected Darth Maul. As far as McGregor goes, he has made no secret that he would like to return to the role. A lifetime fan of the series, McGregor was vocally critical of the prequel trilogy, but it doesn’t seem to have soured him on the franchise (nor should it as I think his Kenobi was the one character that spanned the prequels that was universally liked by fans). Here’s what he had to say when asked directly:
“I’ll say it publicly, here, now. I’d be happy to do the story between Episode 3, that I finished in, and Episode 4 that Alec Guinness started in. I think that would be good. Disney should definitely do that.” And on looking forward to Star Wars Episode VII, Mc Gregor continued, “I’m excited about it as much as anyone else. I saw the trailer and it looks like he [JJ Abrams] absolutely nailed it and it feels right. But I’m not sure about the [crossguard] lightsaber. If you fight with a lightsaber properly you don’t need one.”
In looking at the chronological order laid out on the slide, it would seem that the Kenobi film would be second, making the Han Solo/Boba Fett film (confirmed yesterday to be directed by The LEGO Movie’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller) the third anthology film. This would actually make sense as part of the announcement yesterday was that Solo/Fett was not the picture that director Josh Trank departed, which was thought to be the second anthology. So it appears Trank was working on the Kenobi picture (or something altogether different), and I would not be surprised (should this hold up) if a new director for that film was announced at the briefing on Friday.
If this holds true, and I really hope it does, this is the initial schedule for the next six years of Star Wars films:
2015 – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams)
2016 – Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One (Gareth Edwards)
2017 – Star Wars Episode VIII (Rian Johnson)
2018 – Star Wars Kenobi: The Balance of the Force (?)
2019 – Star Wars Episode IX (Rian Johnson?)
2020 – Star Wars Anthology: Fett/Solo (Lord & Miller)
It’s a little thing, but the Kenobi film is labeled differently than Rogue One and Fett/Solo. The Balance of the Force was originally thought to be the title to Star Wars Episode I way back in the late 1990’s, so I wonder if the Kenobi trilogy rumor is true and this is just his first film. It seems clear to me that Episodes are going to continue indefinitely balanced with these spin-off tales. I think every one of them is a great idea, and I can’t wait to hear even more when the Star Wars briefing is held. We’re on the cusp of a franchise resurrection in every facet of media and as a life-long Star Wars fan, i couldn’t be more excited.