The Next 'Star Wars' Film Should Be Pushed Back To 2025

Expectations for the release schedule of Star Wars films has certainly changed in the years since Disney bought Lucasfilm. Before The Force Awakens came out, fans were made aware of the fact that there would be one new Star Wars movie each year, with standalone films coming out between saga films. In 2018, however, Solo: A Star Wars Story was released less than half a year after The Last Jedi, apparently as a test to see whether Star Wars could release two films per year, similar to what Marvel and even DC have done. However, the box office numbers for Solo were not very satisfying to the higher-ups. It became clear that there would be no standalone Star Wars film coming out in 2020, as previously expected.

Of course, knowing how 2020 turned out, perhaps that is a good thing. Such a film would have surely been delayed. As of now, fans may feel like they are not really missing out on a theatrical release. As it stands, we are still a while away from the next planned Star Wars film. It was announced last year that the next three films, related or not, would be released in December 2022, 2024, and 2026. However, within the last couple of months, these were each pushed back a year, following suit with other films that have been pushed back in light of the pandemic. Right now, we are expecting the next Star Wars film to come out in 2023. It might already seem like a long time to wait, but I would argue that we should wait longer.

As of right now, the film industry is in flux, so I do not believe that the 2023 release date is completely guaranteed. People need to be safe as they make more films, and we need to really see what the film industry will be like. Somehow, 2023 feels too soon, given these times of uncertainty.

The last Star Wars film to be released was The Rise of Skywalker. To say that it was divisive is an understatement. For some fans, it was a nail in the coffin, making them feel disenchanted with Star Wars films. A break is needed. People have to feel like they miss having Star Wars films, and I am not sure that four years is enough to feel that way. Six years, which is double the three-year gap that we used to get, feels more reasonable, especially considering the global situation. It would also give Lucasfilm more time to plan the future films.

A criticism of the sequel trilogy is that it does not feel well thought out. I enjoyed some things about the sequels, and I can watch them, but they feel very disjointed to me. Sure, the original trilogy was not all planned, but one would expect modern filmmakers to be able to do better. Absence of films for a good while could make the heart grow fonder, and it would give Lucasfilm a good amount of time to really think through what the direction of future films should be. The fact that they are keeping their ideas for future Star Wars films close to their chest is concerning. It feels like they are not quite sure what they want to do, and even if they do, they do not feel confident enough to reveal their ideas to the fans. All that they need to mention is an era, or the fact that the next film could for sure take place hundreds or thousands of years in the past, or even between certain films or beyond the timeline we have seen onscreen. Sure, we did not know of Rogue One until 20 months before its release. However, that was not necessarily the "main focus" of the future of Star Wars films when the Disney buyout was reported in 2012. We know three years ahead of time that VII, VIII, and IX were happening. Given shakeups in filmmakers, it feels like Lucasfilm is hesitant to announce anything anytime soon. They need a game plan, which would give them a good lead time to announce what they are doing and build up excitement.

The Mandalorian, on the other hand, has guaranteed longevity for live-action Star Wars television. Season 2 begins October 30, and there may be a couple other seasons afterward. We are also getting the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series in 2022, which is sure to please lots of fans who love the character. On top of that, a Cassian Andor TV series is supposed to come out at some point, satisfying the Rogue One fans. With all of these projects, there is really no live-action shortage of content. Having a bunch of shows in between might make it tougher to build momentum for future films, but at least we have these in the meantime. Lucasfilm and Disney really need to think of what makes the next Star Wars film different from the TV shows that they are putting out. The next film needs to feel special. Maybe a longer wait could somehow make it feel all the more magical.