Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger released an annual report for the company to stockholders this week, which included some very interesting tidbits about the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. Below is the part pertaining to the galaxy far, far away:
“As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming….and one of the fewer who’s seen most of the footage…I can assure the millions of Star Wars fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait. And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional Star Wars storytelling; next year we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017, and we’ll finish this trilogy with Episode IX in 2019.”
Did Bob Iger just confirm we’ll be getting a new film in this trilogy every other year? I believe so, probably with all of them set to hit theaters in December, if they follow the pattern of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ (December 18, 2015) and the stand-alone ‘Star Wars’ movie (December 16, 2016).
Also of note is the fact that Iger has seen most of the footage from the movie already and truly seems to think that the film is ‘worth the wait.’ Of course there’s alway a chance of that just being the words of a good CEO who wants to build excitement for a product, but in this case, I truly think Iger is excited by what he has seen.
There’s also his word choice here, such as when he says they’ll “finish this trilogy,’ which might just imply that the studio is already planning a sequel trilogy to the, well, sequel trilogy. Also his phrasing about the stand-alone film, stating “we’ll release our first standalone movie based on these characters,” which might mean that the stand-alone film will be about the characters introduced in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ which would be a neat trick since the stand-alone is supposed to take place about 30 years before JJ Abrams’ film.
No matter how you read it, it seems Disney and Iger have a lot of excitement for the release of the film, which should also get the fans excited, as we are less than 11 months away from the premiere. And as long as the film is better the ‘The Phantom Menace,’ (which honestly shouldn’t be that hard), Disney has nothing to worry about.