Disney CEO Confirms 'Star Wars' Episodes VIII & IX in 2017 and 2019
by Ethan Anderton
January 30, 2015
Almost a couple years ago, back in the spring of 2013, before Star Wars: The Force Awakens even had a title and the film was still slated rumored for a summer release in 2015, Disney revealed at CinemaCon that they were planning on releasing a new Star Wars film each year, alternating between episodes in the new trilogy and standalone films in between them. Now here we are in 2015, and Star Wars: Episode VII isn't arriving until December 18th this year, followed next year by the first standalone film (which is starting to find a cast already) from director Gareth Edwards. Now we have further confirmation for future plans.
"As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming….and one of the fewer who’s seen most of the footage…I can assure the millions of Star Wars fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait. And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional Star Wars storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with Episode IX in 2019."
We've already assumed the Episode VIII (which will be directed by Rian Johnson) and Episode IX would be out in 2017 and 2019 since the standalone films were said to become between trilogy installments, but this is the first time Bob Iger has said that officially. In addition, we could also speculate as to what he means when he says "we'll finish this trilogy" to be a hint that maybe they'll do another trilogy after this. If that's the case, it wouldn't begin until 2021, but it's exciting to think that this universe will keep getting bigger, following new characters in each sequential trilogy.
And if we really want to get speculative, you might notice that Iger also says, "And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional Star Wars storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters…" When he says "based on these characters" could he be indicating that the spin-off films may actually have ties to Episode VII after all? We doubt it since a Disney CFO said the spin-offs would be origin stories and Iger himself even called them standalone films not tied to the new trilogy. However, it's interesting that there was no mention of the second standalone Star Wars film just yet, even though Josh Trank was already announced to direct. Anyway, we'll find out more details on at least this first spin-off soon enough, so stay tuned for more.