It’s nothing that we hadn’t really known already, but Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed to CNBC this afternoon that the studio was indeed developing some standalone Star Wars films in addition to the officially announced new trilogy that was first unveiled back in October.
There has been speculation about some stand-alone films that are in development. I can confirm to you today that, in fact, we are working on a few stand-alone films. Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga. We still plan to make Episodes 7, 8, and 9, roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. There are going to be a few other films released in that time, too.”
While he doesn’t confirm this morning’s rumor that one of those films would center on Jedi Master Yoda, his statement that the films will be “derived from great Star Wars characters” certainly doesn’t preclude it either.
The real interesting part of Iger’s announcement is that the standalone films will start to be released in the same time frame of the new trilogy. Previously ever one assumed that they wouldn’t be produced until after the new trilogy was completed, somewhere around 2020 or later. That does leave open the possibility that some side story branching off from the main sequel trilogy could be the subject of one of the standalone films as well. Imagine, perhaps, a Jedi artifact is discovered and becomes something key in the new trilogy. A standalone film could fill out its backstory by detailing an adventure involving it and Yoda for example. There are some interesting possibilities suggested here, especially if you look at the success another Disney corporate sibling, Marvel Studios, has had with their unique approach to franchise management.
Here’s the complete CNBC interview with Iger.