Is there going to be a Star Wars release schedule shake-up?

With all the news–true, trashy, and absurd–that broke last night with Josh Trank leaving the second Star Wars Anthology film, a little bit of news was overlooked.

Variety writes:

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The untitled “Star Wars” movie won’t be released until 2019, according to sources.

This most certainly messes up the release schedule they had planned. Unless another Anthology film is ready to be fast-tracked in its place (which seems very unlikely), I expect a huge shift to occur.

This is how things were supposed to look:

  • 2015  Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • 2016  Star Wars: Anthology – Rogue One
  • 2017 Star Wars: Episode VIII
  • 2018 Star Wars: Anthology – 2
  • 2019 Star Wars: Episode IX
  • 2020 Star Wars: Anthology – 3

If the news is true that Anthology 2 is being moved to 2019 from its 2018 release date, that steps on the toes of Star Wars: Episode IX, which I would imagine is of higher priority for Lucasfilm than an experimental Anthology release.

We have heard that Rian Johnson is headed to England already to start setting up shop on Episode VIII and Rogue One is to start filming this Summer. Unless something has changed, those seem both set for their December 2016 and May 2017 release slots.

Are the first two Star Wars films after The Force Awakens totally secure? Might we see delays for all the films after The Force Awakens to put them back into their release dates sooner than expected? With as ambitious as their release schedule was, I can’t imagine Lucasfilm will have a year without a film release.

Classically, the second film in a Star Wars trilogy is the least successful upon release. That would mean Lucasfilm could potentially be looking at their least successful sequel trilogy film and then having to take a year off after it. I have no idea how politically cutthroat the Disney company is in this era, but with the regime change occurring at about that time, it doesn’t seem like the kind of position Lucasfilm would want to put itself in within the company.

I think we are going to see the release schedule shaking up a bit. The question is in what way will they be shifted around? The easiest answer is that this means a 2020 release date for Star Wars: Episode IX. Two films in 2019 would be a lot of fun though!

 

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