Over 40 years after the first film was released, the Skywalker saga is at an end with the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But while this is the end of the road for the Skywalker family, this is not the end of Star Wars. Not at all. The floodgates are open and Disney isn't letting them close any time soon. But the next Star Wars movies aren't exactly confirmed and when they do get nailed down, they'll likely focus on new characters outside of the Skywalker family's galactic journeys.
We don't know who these new characters will be, but we do know who's coming up with them. To start, Rian Johnson, who directed The Last Jedi, is developing a new trilogy, and while some fans worry the vitriolic TLJ discourse could derail his deal, he is currently confirmed to write and direct its first movie.
"In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored," reads a November 2017 statement from Lucasfilm.
In May, Disney set release dates for the next three Star Wars movies: December 16, 2022, December 20, 2024, and December 18, 2026. But if you think Johnson's movies will be taking up those spots, not so fast. There was a second trilogy planned that was going to be created by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. The first film in their trilogy was the one set for the December 2022 release, but the pair stepped down in October citing their busy schedule with Netflix. So, it won't necessarily be Johnson's film that's taking its place. It could be. It could not be.
On top of that, there is another movie in development, this one from Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. "With the close of the Skywalker Saga, [Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together," Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn told The Hollywood Reporter in September.
To boot, Kennedy recently told Refinery29 that Lucasfilm has some announcements coming that "people will very pleased with," while discussing gender and racial diversity among Star Wars directors. So we could be looking at some groundbreaking development deals in the very near future.
But the movies are not our only hope, y'all.
Star Wars TV is positively booming. The first season of The Mandalorian is currently being released weekly on Disney+ and a second season is already confirmed. There will also be a series that will focus on the life of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) prior to the events in the Rogue One. And there's an upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) series, which will be directed by Deborah Chow, who became first woman to ever direct a live-action Star Wars production when she helmed an episode of The Mandalorian. Both series will stream on Disney+.
And if you were a fan of the animated (canon!) series The Clone Wars, its seventh and final season will be released on the streaming service in February.
There might be a sizable break between Star Wars movies, but if you find yourself craving a journey to a galaxy far, far away in the meantime, there will be plenty of adventures on their way. Or, you know, you can just watch your favorite movies over again. It's not like that hasn't worked for the past several decades.