In the two years since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the internet has freaked over every little bread crumb of information J.J. Abrams and company have dropped about the master plan for the new slate of Star Wars films. “Oh my God they’re making Star Wars 7!” (Breathes into paper bag.) “Oh my God they got the original cast!” (Shivering with excitement.) “Oh my God the Millennium F…the Millennium F…the Millen…” (Passes out, back of hand to forehead.) “OH MY GOD THE TRAAAAILLLERRR!” (Nerdgasm.)
The reason for all the fuss is that, relatively speaking, we get so few Star Wars movies. Sure, there are already six of them. But they were released over the course of 28 years. There was a 16-year gap between the first two trilogies, and it’s now been a full decade since the last trilogy wrapped up.
Of course, all of this is about to change. On Thursday, our Disney overlords announced the schedule for the next two instalments in the Star Wars franchise. The first character-based spinoff movie will be called Rogue One. Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and starring Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything), it will hit theaters December 16, 2016, one year after The Force Awakens. Then, after that, Star Wars: Episode VIII – A Film Yet to Be Titled, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), will hit theaters on May 26, 2017.
Obviously, there’s plenty of stuff about which we can all speculate and salivate. (Who is Felicity Jones playing in Rogue One? A young Princess Leia? Or will Aaron Paul, who’s been mentioned in casting rumors, star as a young Han Solo? Is the movie about the origins of the Rogue Squadron, the rebellion’s elite crew of X-Wing pilots?) But in the grand scheme of things, we’re not going to be waiting around very long in between Star Wars films. The Force Awakens will slake our Star Wars thirst in 10 months. Then we’ll only have to wait a year for Rogue One, and then another five months for Episode VIII.
Seems to me the yearly release of Star Wars movies will make us less inclined to freak out over every minor revelation. Which is a shame, because that’s half the fun.