Disney has announced that it plans to release Star Wars movies annually beginning in 2015 with Star Wars Episode VII. Films in the main trilogy will be released every other year while off years will feature “origin stories” for various characters.
No further details have been confirmed at this time so, naturally, it raises a number of questions. Will J.J. Abrams and his team make all of these movies? Will Abrams have time to work on all of these on top of Star Trek 3? Is audience interest in the brand still strong enough to sustain a yearly franchise? And of course the big one, who will these origin stories be about?
Will we learn about Luke’s childhood as a moisture farmer or Leia’s as a young politician? Will we see the thrilling tale of how Han and Chewie met on the big screen? Or something else entirely? While the new Star Wars trilogy may not align with the established Expanded Universe, it will almost certainly introduce new characters. Could we see origin films explaining their place in the galaxy? Could some of these new characters be Jedi?
Back in January of 2013, The Vulture reported a rumor that Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) would direct a non-trilogy Star Wars movie with the premise ‘Seven Samurai but with Jedi.’ The rumor made a surprising amount of sense given George Lucas’ fondness for Kurosawa films. While Snyder denied any involvement when asked directly, The Vulture stood by the story at the time suspecting that Snyder wanted to keep himself available to direct a (then suspected, now known) follow-up to Man of Steel. At that time, Disney had yet to announce more Star Wars movies than just the trilogy. While this new development does make The Vulture rumor seem more plausible, this is far from confirmation.
So, who or what will these side-films be about? Will they shake off the stigma associated with the phrase ‘Star Wars prequel?’ For now, fans will have to wait and see. As a wise, little green man once said, “Always in motion is the future.”