The Star Wars film franchise will go on ‘a bit of a hiatus' after Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, Disney CEO Bob Iger has revealed. That is in line with his earlier sentiment from September last year, when he had said that audiences can “expect some slowdown”.
“We have not announced any specific plans for movies thereafter,” Iger told Bloomberg. “There are [Star Wars] movies in development, but we have not announced them.”
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“We will take a pause, some time, and reset, because the Skywalker saga comes to an end with this ninth movie,” Iger added. “There will be other Stars Wars movies, but there will be a bit of a hiatus.”
The other Star Wars films that Iger references are currently in development. The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on a new trilogy, while Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will begin crafting a series of films — possibly a trilogy, as well — after they are done with the HBO show.
Johnson's trilogy “will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.” Johnson will write and direct the first film. Benioff and Weiss' series of films will be separate from both the Skywalker saga and Johnson's trilogy.
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Since 2015, Disney-Lucasfilm has released four Star Wars films: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo. The first three were all critically-acclaimed and garnered over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office, but Solo was a critical and commercial flop.
Disney hit pause on the Star Wars anthology films soon after, which included a Boba Fett movie from Logan director James Mangold, and possibly another centred on a young Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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“I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast,” Iger said in September. “You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not going to make films.”
Iger's new statement reasserts Disney's standing on Star Wars films. Of course, there's still plenty of Star Wars content to go around, in addition to the films coming from Johnson, Benioff and Weiss.
The first-ever live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, will release November 12 on Disney+. And the second, which follows Diego Luna's Cassian Andor along with Alan Tudyk's K-2SO before Rogue One, will likely release sometime in 2021.
Meanwhile, Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker is slated to release December 20 in cinemas.