Disney and Lucasfilm have revealed plans that, from 2015, there will be a new Star Wars film released every summer. The first project as part of this endeavour will be JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII in the summer of 2015.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be a new story, the first of a trilogy, from a script by Michael Arndt, writer of Little Miss Sunshine. The following year a standalone feature film featuring a story from the Star Wars universe will be released. This will be followed the next year by the second part of the trilogy, and so on.
Following Michael Arndt’s Episode VII, Episode VII and IX will be written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg respectively. Kasdan was involved in the script writing on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg is best known for writing work on Guy Richie’s Sherlock Holmes reboots.
Nothing much is known about the Episode VII/VIII or IX story as it is a new creation, not based upon any books. However there are rumours, sparked by a George Lucas hint, that Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will all be returning for parts in Episode VII to provide some continuity.
As for the standalone spinoff films various sources have put forward rumours and hearsay about what the subjects may be. The films are said to feature stories of characters we know from the Star Wars universe; there should be movies dedicated to Yoda, a young Han Solo, Boba Fett and perhaps a “Seven Samurai” style Jedi movie.
Not all Star Wars fans have been welcoming of the news. The BBC report on the new film schedule says social networks have been awash with comments about the amount of new films being “ridiculous”. It is hoped that quality won’t be sacrificed to make such quantity. I personally hope the new series of films won’t become too “cuddly”, no more Ewoks please.
Meanwhile gamers will miss out on LucasArts made official Star Wars games to tie in with the flood of new films. Just a fortnight ago we heard about the LucasArts videogame business being shuttered by Disney. Some promising projects were canned and Disney said it would follow a games licensing model which would “minimising the company's risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games”.