By the end of this year, the story of the Skywalker family will end when Star Wars: Episode IX hits movie theaters on December 20, 2019. But what about new Star Wars movies after that? With the new Star Wars TV series — The Mandalorian — hitting the Disney+ streaming service later this year, too, and another show starring Diego Luna on the way, will new Star Wars movies also live on the streaming platform only? In fact, when is the next Star Wars movie after this year?
The answer to that last question is: no one knows! At one point, it was expected that another standalone Star Wars “story” film (like Rogue One or Solo) would come out in 2020. But since the box office disappointment of Solo, Disney executive Bob Iger said the movies won’t come out every year anymore and that everyone “can expect some slowdown,” from the powers of the Force. But does that mean the next Star Wars movie after Episode IX will be on the streaming platform before it’s in the movie theaters?
No. Despite the huge rollout of Disney+ this year, Iger has recently doubled-down on the idea that Star Wars movies are big money, and as such, will continue to debut on the big screen first. Speaking to Barrons this week Iger said: “Almost every movie the studio makes is a $100 million-plus movie, and we’re not looking to make movies at that level for the service.”
Translation: Bob Iger is like Han Solo. He knows a flight through hyperspace in a legit Star Wars movie will cost the average person something extra. Sure, the new movies will end up on Disney+ at some point after their theatrical release; just like Marvel movies end up on Netflix now. But, since 1977 Star Wars movies have all debuted on the big screen. The only exception is the Ewok movies, and we all know the quality of those things.
So, the future of Star Wars movies past 2019 will be big theatrical blockbusters. Will these be the other Rian Johnson movies? The ones from Game of Thrones showrunners Benioff and Weiss? For now, the shape of the Force is clear (big theatrical movies) but the specifics are murky.