LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2017 — The Walt Disney company just announced they are expanding the Star Wars universe with a new lineup of films and shows set to debut on their streaming service in 2019.
Rian Johnson, who is directing the latest installment The Last Jedi, will helm the three new films. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said: “We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi. The original franchise, created by George Lucas, has nine films, including The Last Jedi and the final instalment known as Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set to be released in 2019 and is being directed by JJ Abrams.
Johnson’s new trilogy will introduce new characters and enter parts of the universe not seen in other Star Wars films. The Star Wars franchise has seen several other spin-offs, including anthology film Rogue One and the forthcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Lucasfilm has been known to use television as a platform to explore the Star Wars universe with animated shows. The Clone Wars, which was set between Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, ran from 2008 through 2015, while the currently-running Star Wars Rebels first debuted in 2014 on Disney XD. Rumors continue to circulate about a third animated series is in the works.
Disney announced in August that it was moving on from Netflix and creating their own streaming service. Disney has its own massive catalog of content to use for such a site. Many streaming services have created their own original content to help attract new subscribers to their services. CBS recently launched Star Trek: Discovery on its All Access platform this year.
If Disney can pull off a live-action show, it would accomplish something that has long eluded the franchise. In 2005, George Lucas announced a show at the Celebration III convention, saying it would be set in the underworld of the city planet Coruscant. Various writers and artists were brought on to flesh out an idea, but it was ultimately scrapped in 2010 due to budget concerns.