When Episode IX by J.J. Abrams releases later this year in December, the Skywalker saga fans have known and loved since 1977 will finally end. After this happens, the epic saga by Lucas film does not have a lot going on in the near future. Disney still plans to develop a few Star Wars projects and some original series for the new Disney+. Except this, nothing else is familiar. Since this is the case, and all we receive are promises and plans, here are the best five directions for the Star Wars franchise to go after the ninth movie in the main timeline.
5. Focus on TV
The Star Wars universe is perfect for a television set. What is now very popular on TV is world building, mainly in shows like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad who are expanding their brands and fictional universes with long story arcs and even some successful spin-offs. Therefore, a TV series that explores fallen civilizations, for example, would be amazing, or all of the aftermath that the movies did not explore. All of this could be done on television by utilizing the season-by-season anthology formats.The whole of Star Wars was based on TV series in the first place, with movies as episodes. Why should not they move with the trends and bring the lore to television? Disney has announced a number of original series of their famous MCU characters for Disney+, meaning there is no reason why the same could not happen with the Star Wars franchise.
4. Smaller Scale Movies
Many things went bad with Solo: A Star Wars Story, and its box office flop. One issue was the big budget similar to any other Star Wars movie when the appeal was not the same. Because the last chapter in the Skywalker saga is bound to make much more money than the story of Han Solo, one future of the franchise could be less impactful movies with fewer budgets, but still done in the spirit of Star Wars. There is nothing wrong about smaller scale movies.
The rumored Boba Fett movie that was canceled should have been redeveloped with a smaller budget and on a smaller scare. Since Jeremy Bulloch based his performance as Boba Fett on Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name character, the movie could literally be a modern spaghetti western set in space. Who would not love that? The combination of the writer and director could experiment with this special genre in a beautiful way, delivering a masterpiece. Little movies like this one that stands on their own can secure the future of Star Wars. In lore rich as theirs, countless possibilities exist.
3. Tell Stories that need to be Told
When Disney announced Star Wars movies that are not connected to the main “Episode” films, there were many ambitious plans for interesting spin-offs. Some of them were stretches, while others were spot on.
So far, Disney gave us two “Anthology” spin-offs, first being Rogue One that had an amazing $1 billion box office. This is the story of how the Rebels stole the plans for the Death Star, set just before the events of A New Hope (Episode IV). This is an example of a story that needed to be told, that fans were excited to see on the big screen. In addition, many consider it removed
a giant plot hole.
The second anthology movie, Solo, was a box office flop. This was the underwhelming story of how Han Solo got his name, met Chewbacca, won the famed Millennium Falcon from his friend / rival Lando Calrissian, and made the mysterious Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. Basically, this was a feature-length movie of famous and intriguing one-liners from the original trilogy. Fans did not need nor want this. It does not help that all of the above was very underwhelming, and fans were maybe better off guessing how these events really played out. Disney has to be more careful with something as sacred and popular as Star Wars, and they must tell the Star Wars stories worth being told.
2. Do a Bunch of Unrelated Trilogies
The basic storytelling model of the saga has George Lucas’ earliest influences, the TV serials. Being told in installments, each one ends with a cliffhanger forcing viewers to come back wanting answers. Lucas then brought this narrative to the big screen with his Star Wars franchise. Although nobody can come up with something as big and impactful on audiences as Lucas did with the Skywalker bloodline and history, Disney can easily do mini-serials that would invest the audience enough to come back for multiple sequels.
This is exactly what another iconic director, Peter Jackson, did with his Middle-earth movies, making billions of dollars and winning numerous Oscars in the process. Rian Johnson’s new and mysterious trilogy, as well as David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (Game of Thrones directors) trilogy, is a good starting point, and a move to the right direction.
1. Episodes X-XII
After Episode IX comes out and ends, the sequel trilogy of the Skywalker saga will be complete. The original trilogy, still most loved, existed on its own and had a natural conclusion. However, the door was still wide open for both a prequel trilogy and a sequel trilogy to eventually come.
Taken into account how much money Disney spent to acquire Lucasfilm, it is unlikely that they will allow J.J. Abrams to close that door behind him after Episode IX. Although a good closure on the story is necessary, hope for the future has to still be there. Remember the kid with the broom from the end of Episode VIII? Maybe he will lead a new rebellion against a new evil when he grows up. With Star Wars, there are always more stories to tell, so episodes X, XI, and XII will surely appear at some point down the line.