The future of Star Wars is beginning to look clear.
For the next few years, Disney+ series will be carrying the franchise on the visual media front. The Book of Boba Fett is set to debut on December 29, and following it shortly thereafter should be the highly anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi series in May. Later in 2022, Star Wars: Andor and The Bad Batch Season 2 will also drop on the streaming platform, with The Mandalorian Season 3 reportedly rounding the year out.
Presumably, The Mandalorian will experience a carryover into 2023 akin to Boba Fett. From there, the likely follow-up would be Ahsoka, which is rumored to begin filming as early as December. Also on the slate for 2023 is Leslye Headland's The Acolyte, now speculated to release later in the year, a rumored animation series about Darth Maul called Crimson Dawn, and potentially Lando.
Where things stand with the theatrical films is a bit more complicated.
Last Winter, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced that Patty Jenkins would be writing and directing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, the first film to drop since The Rise of Skywalker debuted in 2019. Official press releases had Rogue Squadron slated for a December 22, 2023 release, with Taika Waititi's Star Wars film said to follow in 2025 and the Kevin Feige movie dropping in 2027 or beyond.
But it appears there may have been a change in plans. Word of a secret Star Wars film broke recently, and the outlook on the franchise's theatrical future has now changed entirely.
The Old Republic Film Coming In 2023, Rogue Squadron Delayed
BigScreenLeaks reported that a mystery Star Wars film will begin filming in 2022, unrelated to any of the previously announced projects.
Several credible sources corroborated the report and teased that the film would be set during the Old Republic era.
Star Wars News Net has shared that the Old Republic film will be released in December 2023. According to the rumor, Rogue Squadron has already received a major re-write and attention is being put on getting the story right. As a result, Lucasfilm is on the brink of pushing Rogue Squadron back to a release in 2024, allowing the Old Republic film to occupy its initial slot.
Are Annual Releases Back On The Menu?
It's no small statement to suggest that, should this rumor prove correct, the future of Star Wars has changed tremendously.
A great deal of emphasis has been put on developing projects for Disney+, which comes as little surprise; two seasons of The Mandalorian and multiple dips into the world of animation have been incredibly successful for the streaming platform. However, Star Wars is a theatrical franchise first and foremost, and Lucasfilm recognizes that there's still an appetite for stories told on the big screen.
The news regarding Rogue Squadron is very encouraging. Among the many criticisms of the recent sequel trilogy, fans were displeased with the rushed nature of the films' productions and the resulting stories that were connected with the might of a glue stick. It appears that Lucasfilm has learned from its previous mistakes and is now taking the time to ensure that everything is done right, which is of the utmost importance.
Word of a secret Star Wars film shooting next year was met with surprise. Beyond Rogue Squadron, no other films have been officially announced for a release any time soon. But for those who have kept up with Star Wars rumors for several years, word of the film being set during the Old Republic actually makes a great deal of sense.
Several years back, it was reported that a Knights of the Old Republic trilogy was in the works, penned by Laeta Kalogridis. Kathleen Kennedy hinted at Star Wars Celebration 2019 that Old Republic films could be candidates for future projects as well, saying that Lucasfilm was looking at all options at the time.
It's been a while since those developments, and evidently, Lucasfilm examined the options and deemed the Old Republic a good investment.
With the film beginning production next Summer, significant writing, casting, and concept work has likely taken place. The Old Republic film may seem to be a random choice, but when coupled with the forthcoming KOTOR remake, everything begins to fall into place. EA's exclusivity deal on Star Wars games will expire in 2023, opening the door for the Lucasfilm Games and Sony partnership to launch just ahead of the Old Republic's film release.
It gets better for Star Wars fans.
With Rogue Squadron now being bumped to 2024, it appears that annual Star Wars films are back on the menu. Lucasfilm intended to release movies every other year to allow for significant development time, but things are ahead of schedule with projects like the Old Republic film.
Star Wars droughts are about to be a thing of the past. 2022 will begin a trend of year-long releases of content on Disney+, and soon to follow will be the addition of a theatrical film every year for the foreseeable future.
Buckle up, folks. The height of Star Wars is approaching.