Star Wars is looking to head back to the big screen in a big way, with three feature films all taking place at different points in the history of a galaxy far, far away.
Speaking on stage at the Star Wars Celebration fan convention in London today, Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy unveiled the three projects, their directors and one surprise returning character – Daisy Ridley’s Rey from the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
The first film will tell the story of the earliest of the Jedi Knights, the wielders of the mystical Force who were all but wiped out by the evil Sith and the Galactic Empire in the main Star Wars saga. Logan director James Mangold will be overseeing this project and while speaking on stage in Lindon described the film as a “kind of Biblical epic… A dawning of the Force. Where did it come from? When did we discover it? When did we know how to use it?” The film will be set 25,000 years before the events of anything else we have seen in Star Wars.
The second film will be overseen by Dave Filoni, who has been the chief architect of the animated side of the Star Wars galaxy, having created the Clone Wars, Rebels and Bad Batch series. His film will tie together several storylines being told in the cuirrent crop of live action Star Wars series he is co-producing with Jon Favreau – The Mandaolrian and Ahsoka – and focus on the escalating war between the Imperial remnant and the New Republic.
The third film is set a decade and a half after the events of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and feature the return of Ridley’s character, presumably making her way across the galaxy and looking to establish a new order of Jedi. Ms. Marvel director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will be behind the camera for this film. The script is from Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight. Previously, writers Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson had been working on the project.
Ridley was on hand at Celebration for the announcement and stated that she was “very thrilled to be continuing this journey.”
No titles or release dates were announced for the three projects, though Lucasfilm does have a December 2024 release date penciled in on the calendar, so presumably the first of these three projects to go should start up fairly soon.
While the television side of the Star Wars franchise has been expanding thanks to the popularity of The Mandalorian and Andor, with The Acolyte set to premier next year, the film side has struggled to mount a new feature installment since the 2019 release of The Rise Of Skywalker. Many projects, most notably director Patty Jenkins’s Rogue Squadron film, have either been announced officially or reported as being in development only to not move forward.
Rogue Squadron was announced back in December 2020 during the company’s annual Investors Call as a one-off film that would concentrate on an elite squadron of Rebellion fighter pilots. The film was originally planned for a Christmas 2023 release, but had that date pushed back in part due to pandemic lockdown delays. Disney and Lucasfilm ultimately took the project off the release schedule last September, citing that it still needed more work. It was ultimately reported as being cancelled this past March.
Other creatives attached to Star Wars development projects have included Marvel Studio’s Kevin Feige and Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.
The project that Benioff and Weiss were working on may have been something related to the old Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic video game. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy hinted that the company was developing “something” based off the game back in April 2019, and to many in fandom, the pair seemed like a perfect match for the video game’s material. However, no actual confirmation of that was ever forthcoming. Just six months later, however, the duo dropped out of whatever Star Wars project they were developing in favor of concentrating on the projects that they were developing as part of a deal with Netflix that they had recently signed.
News of Feige’s Star Wars project first came in September 2019, with Loki writer Michael Waldron working on the screenplay. No plot details have ever been disclosed about the project.