Disney certainly isn't letting its Star Wars IP go to waste, not after purchasing Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and gaining the distribution rights to all subsequent Star Wars movies, in 2012. And to Disney's credit, it has done a phenomenal job with the Star Wars universe. To keep the good times rolling, Disney announced it will create another Stars Wars trilogy, led by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.
"We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi," said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. "He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy."
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is due out in theaters this December. It is the second movie in the sequel trilogy developed by Disney, following the events of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. An unnamed Episode IX is planned for 2019 and will complete the sequel trilogy, which is propped up with two anthology films, Rogue One released in 2016 and Solo due out in 2018.
The new trilogy will be separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, taking fans on a new journey into a corner of the Star Wars galaxy that has never been explored before. It will introduce new characters and a new storyline, which was probably when Disney acquired Lucasarts. For diehard followers, this is both exciting and frightening. We lean decidedly in the former category, given what Disney has done both with Star Wars and the Marvel universe.
In addition to directing, Johnson will also write the first of the new new trilogy films. Longtime collaborator Ram Bergman will be onboard to produce the project.
Obviously I hope you like The Last Jedi. But man now I REALLY hope you like The Last Jedi.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) November 9, 2017
There is no release date set for the new trilogy, though if Disney sticks with its two-year release cadence, it would conceivably hit theaters in 2021. It is not clear if Disney will also supplement the new trilogy with anthology films that focus on side stories, as it has done with the sequel trilogy.