The year was 1977, and a new sci-fi series was making its debut on the big screen. Star Wars: A New Hope was a resounding success when first released, and the Star Wars universe has grown consistently since then, creating a rich and detailed universe for fans to delve into. The success of the first movie prompted the release of the rest of the original trilogy. A prequel trilogy came later, alongside many books, games, comics, and TV shows. Then, in 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilms and with it the rights to Star Wars. Disney released new movies and tv shows, each with their own varying degrees of success. With the franchise’s rocky past and divided fanbase, the question remains: what is the future of Star Wars?
Star Wars has been a franchise close to fans’ hearts for decades, and many are skeptical about what is to come next. Currently Disney has decided to pull back on releasing movies and has focused more on new TV shows on Disney +, a decision most likely fueled by the success of The Mandalorian.
The first of these shows, called Visions, was released on Sep 22, 2021. It is comprised of multiple short episodes, each telling a different story in the Star Wars universe. What makes this show special is that each episode is done in a different Japanese Anime art style. Each episode is its own unique and engaging story. With all that variety, people of any interest in Star Wars will find something to like about this show! Viewers should be advised that nothing in this show is necessarily ‘canon’, but nonetheless each episode contains brilliant storytelling of a kind that the Star Wars universe has never seen before. It is also an ingenious homage to the samurai genre, one of George Lucas’ major sources of inspiration.
While Visions scratches the Star Wars itch, we have to wait a little longer for normal content to continue. Hoping to continue with the success of The Mandalorian, Disney will be launching a series of spin off TV shows starting with The Book of Fett, which will release this December and follow the story of bounty hunter Boba Fett as he presumably regrows his criminal empire after the events of The Mandalorian. We will also see the return of Din Jarin in Mandalorian season three, but no release dates have been set.
Fans can also expect to see favorite characters like Obi Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Cassian Andor, and Lando Clarissian receiving their own TV shows in the next two years. Kenobi has the most information released so far, and will likely follow Obi Wan’s time in the desert on Tatooine. The show will reportedly be a little more exciting than the occasional fight with a Tusken Raider, and may see the return of Darth Vader. Rumors also have it that we can expect a rise in the dark side of the force in the form of movies. New movies, like The Acolyte, have been put into development, one by director Takiti Watiti (director of movies like Thor Ragnarok and JoJo Rabbit), but not much has been released about them. It is safe to assume that, for the time being at least, streaming shows will be Disney’s new way of releasing Star Wars content.
I think fans can expect a new era of Star Wars’ to rise in the coming years, bringing with it a new spin on an old story and exploring directions not considered before. From 1977 to 2021 and beyond, the Star Wars universe can be expected to stay strong and engage fans in new and exciting ways.