With the imminent release of ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, there’s been an increased focus on the Anthology side of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise (as opposed to the more familiar Saga films). When Disney first announced their plans for ‘Star Wars’ after the purchase of LucasFilm, they included a trio of Anthology films in addition to the sequel trilogy. Eventually, the first two Anthologies were confirmed to be ‘Rogue One’ and a currently untitled film following the exploits of a young Han Solo. But what about the third?
Nearly everything that we know (or think we know) about the third ‘Star Wars’ Anthology is based on rumors, the most prominent of which being that it is meant to have more in common with the Han Solo spinoff, focusing on a character rather than a specific event. And that character, of course, is the fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett. While the project was never officially announced, it has been variously described as a “Boba Fett/bounty hunter” outing (suggesting that it could include and ensemble of the series’ bounty hunter characters, a list that runs the gamut from Cad Bane to IG-88 and Bossk) and “western inspired”, which makes it easy to envision Fett in a role reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name. Josh Trank was attached to direct, and according to Entertainment Weekly, a sizzle reel was even prepared for 2015’s Celebration Anaheim convention, at which LucasFilm also premiered an early teaser for ‘The Force Awakens’ and a concept trailer (consisting of Rebel radio chatter) for ‘Rogue One’. This, however, was before Trank exited the project in the fallout from his disastrous ‘Fantastic Four‘ reboot last summer, and the project has gone virtually unmentioned since.
So is the Boba Fett movie even still happening? The status of this film is ambiguous at the moment and has been ever since Trank’s departure. To the extent that LucasFilm has commented on it at all, it has not been officially removed from the slate, but as the latest scheduled installment (set for release in 2020, at last report), it’s not exactly surprising that it’s the least talked about. Now, it could be that it’s not being talked about for the same reason we’re not really talking about ‘Episode IX’ yet, namely that it’s years away and there are at least three movies ahead of it that are simply more likely to generate news. But that being said, losing a director – even five years out from release – is going to be a stumbling block for any movie. It could be that Disney and LucasFilm have placed the project on hold with the intent of revisiting it after the release of ‘Rogue One’. As we previously reported, the box office performance of that film is going to be a major influence on the future of ‘Star Wars’ generally and of the anthology films in particular.
‘Star Wars’ will return to theaters on December 16, 2016 with the release of ‘Rogue One’. After that, the current release slate has ‘Episode VIII’ drop on December 15, 2017, the untitled Han Solo film on May 25, 2018, and ‘Episode IX’ on May 24, 2019. The third Anthology film is then expected to fall on an unspecified date in 2020.