When Disney bought Lucasfilm last October, one of their first announcements was a new trilogy of Star Wars movies beginning in 2015 with Episode VII. Wednesday, at CinemaCon, Disney Studio chief Alan Horn announced that the trilogy would release every two years starting in 2015 and continuing in 2017 and 2019.
Horn also reiterated their plans to do standalone films, focusing on individual characters, possibly releasing in the years between the trilogy films. However, there are conflicting reports on this matter.
Variety reports that Horn “did not elaborate as to when they would be released,” while CommingSoon.net is reporting that there will be a new movie every year.
Whether it turns out that there will be films every year or every other, it seems that Disney is taking a page out of their Marvel playbook. It’s not known yet if the individual films will build on characters and plot that feed into the trilogy or if they’ll stand outside of that continuity, possibly looking at the Old Republic period or even moving forward in time. It’s possible we could even see some animated movies, although they may feel like poor replacements for The Clone Wars which we lost this year.
At this point, I’m not really happy with much that Disney has announced. So far it seems like mostly bad news, all we’ve had are things taken away from us while only being handed promises that have yet to be backed by any substance.
Looking at this from the standpoint of collectors, people who have been in the game for more than a couple of years have to be looking at the this with mixed anticipation and dread; it’s always fun to add new items to the collection but if you’re a “one of everything” collector, even if it’s only from one company, the prospect of never ending new toys or busts or props to buy, and where to put it, is daunting.
This new announcement seemed to have overshadowed the fact that there were more personnel cuts at Lucasfilm this week, including the licensing department. Disney seems to be making it very clear that they wanted the intellectual property and don’t really care about the people that helped build the franchise into what it’s become today. If we start hearing that people such as Leland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo or Mary Franklin have been let go, I think it will definitely signal the end of the Star Wars franchise as we know it.