Disney+ has allowed the Star Wars galaxy to expand more rapidly than ever, even through the struggles of the pandemic. Between more stories with fan-favorite characters, new forms of storytelling, and a whole new era of the franchise, Star Wars has grown on Disney+, but what happened to the theatrical blockbusters?
Although Star Wars currently has movies in the works from Taika Waititi, Kevin Feige, Rian Johnson, and more legendary creatives, progress has proven slow. Only Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron has been formally revealed for a December 2023 release, with comments indicating Waititi's movie might arrive first.
Amid the mess of Star Wars' theatrical future, a new report surfaced that may reveal things have gotten even worse as the wait continues for the franchise's first movie since 2019's The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars' Uncertain Theatrical Future
According to a recent newsletter from Puck News' Matt Belloni, via Reddit, Disney will not announce any Star Wars movies at D23, with no theatrical releases planned to take place before 2024 at the earliest.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy reportedly isn't ready to pull the trigger on any of the movies in the works. Star Wars currently has untitled movies in development from Taika Waititi, Rian Johnson, J. D. Dillard, Damon Lindelof, and Kevin Feige, on top of Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron.
Kennedy previously revealed Waititi's project was planned for late 2023, while Rogue Squadron had a December 22, 2023 release date set at the time of Disney's last release schedule update this year.
Which Star Wars Movie Will Release Next?
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy previously revealed they "have a road map" internally at the studio for the theatrical future of Star Wars. So, while the franchise's big-screen currently appears to be a mess publically, perhaps Disney does have a plan for its many untitled projects.
Taika Waititi revealed earlier in the year that he is still working on the script for his Star Wars movie whilst juggling other projects, making this delay unsurprising. Meanwhile, Patty Jenkins is expected to develop Wonder Woman 3 before diving into Star Wars, having recently exited Cleopatra in favor of the two franchises.
So, with Waititi and Jenkins' movies being the two Star Wars movies that had the potential to make the 2023 release schedule, this delay is unsurprising. Perhaps one will be able to fit into 2024, but as of now, that appears unlikely, especially if no announcements can be made during D23.
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson's movie was recently confirmed to be on the back-burner due to other commitments. Star Wars currently has theatrical release dates allocated for December 2025 and 2027, so the franchise has far more projects than dates booked, indicating a lack of faith they will all be completed.
With Waititi having so much currently on his plate, while Jenkins only has Wonder Woman 3 for now, perhaps Rogue Squadron will come next as was planned. Although both of these releases currently appear to be relatively early in development - even 2024 appears to be rather optimistic.
The studio went big at Disney Investor Day with many announcements, but so many of those - including Rogue Squadron, Lando, A Droid Story, and Rangers of the New Republic - have made no real progress in the two years since. So perhaps these projects were ultimately revealed prematurely.
Clearly, Lucasfilm has publically overcommitted to projects and creatives alike, with the focus appearing to be more on scoring big talent than specific stories. Three years have already passed since The Rise of Skywalker last brought the franchise to theaters, and there's no sign of a return anytime soon.
On paper, Star Wars' next theatrical release is Rogue Squadron, which is set to release on December 22, 2023. The franchise will continue to expand on Disney+ with Andor which will premiere its first three episodes on Wednesday, September 21.