On the heels of news that Patty Jenkins' 2023 Star Wars film Rogue Squadron had been delayed, new rumors suggest that Eternals director Chloe Zhao is expected to helm Marvel Studios Kevin Feige's Star Wars film.
Of course, the question now is whether Feige and Zhao's film, or another in production at Lucasfilm, will take Rogue Squadron's release date, and if so, in which time period will it be set in?
Star Wars is unique in that it has always been presented as a history, with its films and trilogies occupying three generations of its lengthy timeline. While various books and games have explored the galaxy's earlier eras, that hasn't been the case in terms of the big screen.
However, in light of Lucasfilm's newly reshuffled theatrical slate, that may be about to change.
Will Star Wars' Next Movie be In The High Republic?
An article from Cinelinx discussed the likelihood of upcoming Star Wars projects exploring other eras like the High Republic, admitting that a source has claimed the next Star Wars film will be set 250 years before the events of The Phantom Menace.
While the High Republic has yet to be seen on film, Lucasfilm's "Project Luminous" has recently opened up this era to fans through a successful string of books and comics.
In addition, the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series The Acolyte is set within the High Republic timeline with rumors that a new, upcoming Star Wars animated series could be as well.
According to Star Wars lore, the High Republic is the peak of the Republic and that "more civilized age" Obi-Wan Kenobi referenced in A New Hope.
It differs from that of the Old Republic, an era that's equally rumored to be explored on the big screen, as it's set nearly a thousand years before the High Republic and dominated by the Sith. The Old Republic is also a time period that Star Wars fans have long waited for Lucasfilm to tackle due to its popular comics and games.
Always in Motion is the Future
In the wake of Disney's lackluster sequel trilogy, Star Wars storytelling has seemingly found its way on Disney+ with two seasons of The Mandalorian. In addition to The Book of Boba Fett which is set to debut in December 2021, Lucasfilm's Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni appear to be crafting their own interconnected storyline via various series.
In years past, Star Wars films had a tendency to disregard its books and comics, leading to both confusion and frustration from fans. It will be hard for that trend to continue now that the franchise has found success on Disney+, and now that Marvel Studios has proven shows and films can connect.
This is why a High Republic film seems likely, especially considering The Acolyte is currently in the works for Disney's streaming service. And, if it is intended to tie into the next film, this could be why it was recently pushed to a summer 2022 release.
Since Disney+ Day on November 12, 2021 is rapidly approaching, it's possible that changes are being made public ahead of new announcements and that confirmation, or at least more information, can be expected in the near future.
In the meantime, it sounds like Star Wars won't have to wait too much longer before that galaxy far, far away finally returns to theaters.