Disney to Release New ‘Star Wars’ Movie Every Year Starting in 2015

Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm announced today at CinemaCon in Las Vegas that Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters in the summer of 2015 and that every summer after that will offer a “Star Wars” film, alternating with one of the standalone films.

The main episodes — VIII and IX — will be released every other summer and a standalone movie will be released during the off years, film sites reported when the news broke during a CinemaCon session in Las Vegas. Photo: Chris/Flickr

It has already passed eight years since the release of Revenge of the Sith, a long time to go without watching someone Force Lightening someone into a crisp. This isn’t as long as the sixteen-year wait between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace.

Now it seems that fans of the Star Wars universe won’t have to wait nearly as long between movies.

The latest trilogy of Star Wars films will arrive in 2015, 2017 and 2019, Disney chairman Alan Horn has revealed.

“I don’t have details or specifics about the films themselves,” he said, disclosing that the film scripts are “becoming more real”.

He added: “We’re not saying how many [films are being planned] although I did mention two creators [Kasdan and Simon Kinberg].”

Disney announced today at CinemaCon that they are planning to release a new Star Wars movie every year, starting with the J.J. Abrams-powered Episode VII in summer 2015.

The plan is to release a standalone spinoff the following year — probably one of the projects focusing on Boba Fett or Young Han Solo — and alternate between numerals and spinoffs from there.

Beloved characters such as Yoda, Han and Boba Fett have all been tipped to receive their own standalone movies.

The films are rumoured to be set within the timeline of the original 1977-83 Star Wars trilogy, allowing space for the return of deceased villains such as Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, says the Guardian.

The spinoff films will be written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, informs BBC News.

Kasdan worked on the scripts of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – the second and third instalments of the first Star Wars trilogy while Kinberg is best known for his work on X-Men: The Last Stand and Guy Ritchie’s hit reboot of Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr.

J.J. Abrams, director of the latest Star Trek movies, will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, Disney and Lucasfilm announced on StarWars.com in January. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed the standalone films in February, adding that “They are not part of the overall saga.”

Disney announced the new Star Wars films in October after buying all rights to the series through its acquisition of LucasFilm for $4.05bn, with Lucas agreeing to step aside after more than 35 years in charge.

The stars of the original trilogy, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), have all confirmed talks or willingness to return to the series.

Actress Carrie Fisher, 56, revealed in March that she will reprise the role of Princess Leia that catapulted her to fame in the 1970s.

Speaking to Palm Beach Illustrated she described what she imagines Princess Leia is like today: “Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home,” before adding, in seriousness: “I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for big battle.”

Ford said last month: “I think it’s almost true. I’m looking forward to it … it’s not in the bag yet, but I think it’s happening.”

In a recent interview George Lucas hinted at a cast reunion, revealing the trio were “in final stages of negotiation”.

The Twitterati are already concerned that there will be a Star Wars overload, that the movies will be “force marched” out as fast as Disney can make them, reports the Forbes.

After all, Disney isn’t typically known for pumping out entries in a franchise this rapidly (Pirates of the Caribbean notwithstanding).

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