The sequel era of Star Wars is a mixed bag for many. Some absolutely hate what Lucasfilm did with the characters and story, while others defend those choices vehemently. No matter which side of the line one may be on, there's no denying how the reception of Rise of Skywalker nearly killed the franchise—at least temporarily. But that's when Disney+ had just come around, so the weight of the Star Wars fell onto The Mandalorian.
The show went on to be a massive success, and very quickly changed the direction of the entire franchise. Now the focus was on sustained storytelling across multiple television series. Not only that, but it seemed the company had hit the jackpot exploring the time period right after Return of the Jedi, while also making a point to bring in elements from both the prequel era and the various animated shows.
But in all of these stories, there hasn't been much mention of the sequel era or even any connective tissue. So when might fans see that part of the timeline explored again? According to the boss over at Lucasfilm, that's exactly where they hope to go with the next few movies.
The Sequel Era Will be Explored Some More
In an interview with Empire on the red carpet at Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was on hand to talk about where the movies will go next, and what the status of previously announced films may be.
Kennedy stated that "[the sequel era] is what we talk a lot about in terms of where we’re going" on the movie side of their operations, indicating that upcoming movies will be set around the Sequel Trilogy time period:
“We’re moving further beyond the existing sequels as we look to our movie space... [the sequel era] is what we talk a lot about in terms of where we’re going with our movies, and just how far out from that we’ll go. That’s very much the space we’re concentrating on.”
The site went on to report that the next Star Wars movie would be Taika Waititi's untitled project, while the already announced Rogue Squadron from Patty Jenkins remains in limbo. Rian Johnson's trilogy remains on hold thanks to his "gigantic success with Knives Out" to which he is currently committed to:
“Rian had such a gigantic success with Knives Out that he’s very committed to trying to get that done. So it’ll be a while... as you know, we have to work three, five years in advance on what we’re doing. So that’s where that sits.”
Returning to the Future
It does feel as if the studio is purposely ignoring everything they established with the sequel trilogy; likely due to the backlash some of those stories received. They probably fear that if they touch upon those elements, the negative feedback will start back up.
This isn't the first time Lucasfilm has avoided a chunk of the Star Wars timeline while telling new stories. When making the sequel trilogy, the studio stayed away from everything and anything that had to do with the prequel era. Instead, they made sure to play off of nostalgia almost exclusively from the original movies.
Ironically, now it's the prequel era that's injecting life into the franchise. From Obi-Wan Kenobi exploring the fallout after Revenge of the Sith to Ahsoka following the story of Anakin Skywalker's padawan from the Clone Wars animated series—even The Mandalorian is heavily driven by storylines originating from before the infamous Order 66.
Hopefully, as time goes on, Lucasfilm will start exploring elements of every era of films, without always having a black sheep. After all, there is likely endless untapped potential when it comes to the next step in Rey, Poe, or Finn's journey.
Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ on May 27.