Following the December 2019 release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” many fans of the epic space franchise have been left wondering where “Star Wars” will go next. Bob Iger, the chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company, revealed on today’s investors call the answer: “The priority in the next few years is television.” That means it might be a couple years before Disney releases the next “Star Wars” movie. There are currently no “Star Wars” films announced for the future. Rian Johnson has been locked in to create a new film trilogy, but he has yet to start work on it and is awaiting Lucasfilm’s go ahead. Kevin Feige is also working with Lucasfilm to develop a new film, but there’s no known timeline on when that might go into production. Iger said last December shortly before the release of “Rise of Skywalker” that the studio would “take a hiatus in terms of theatrical releases” for “Star Wars” films, so today’s revelation is not too shocking.
Disney prioritizing the television future of “Star Wars” makes sense considering what a smash success “The Mandalorian” was for the studio during the fall. “The Mandalorian” is the first live-action “Star Wars” television series and debuted in November along with the launch of Disney+. The show became an instant hit with viewers, helped by the viral sensation that is Baby Yoda. Whereas Disney’s last three “Star Wars” movie releases all split the fandom (“The Last Jedi,” “Solo,” “The Rise of Skywalker”), “The Mandalorian” managed to be beloved by a large percentage of “Star Wars” fans. Iger said on the call that the second season of the series, created by Jon Favreau, would debut in October 2020. The Disney executive also teased the possibility of additional television series being spun off from “The Mandalorian.”
“[The company is exploring] the possibility of infusing ‘The Mandalorian’ with more characters and taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series,” Iger said.
Disney is also developing a “Star Wars” television series centered around Cassian Andor, the Rebel soldier played by Diego Luna in “Rogue One,” and one about Obi-Wan Kenobi, set to feature Ewan McGregor in the role he made famous in George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequel trilogy. The Obi-Wan series is being overseen by “Mandalorian” director Deborah Chow. The project was recently put on hiatus in order for the scripts to be reworked.