With Star Wars Celebration closing up in Chicago, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has been doing post-panel press rounds and discussed the future of the “Star Wars” franchise beyond both the launch of “The Mandalorian” series and the closing out of the ‘Skywalker’ saga films.
As we know, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson and “Game of Thrones” showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have begun early development of their own separate trilogies based on the franchise, and there’s no word yet if they will direct any of these movies.
Speaking with THR, Kennedy says next month will be a big one in that she’ll be meeting with all of them and the post-saga future will be mapped out:
“We knew we were going to close this up; we knew that even before we started ‘The Force Awakens’. We are looking at the next saga. We are not just looking at another trilogy; we’re really looking at the next ten years or more. This [‘Rise of Skywalker’] is the culmination of the Skywalker Saga; it’s by no means the culmination of Star Wars. I’m sitting down now with Dan Weiss and David Benioff…and Rian Johnson. We’re all sitting down to talk about, where do we go next? We’ve all had conversations about what the possibilities might be, but now we’re locking it down.”
In the wake of the “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” name reveal and trailer on Friday, people have also been talking about the return of Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. Teased with a laugh in the teaser trailer, McDiarmid then appeared on stage on his own after that reveal – effectively confirming his return.
Speaking with Yahoo, Kennedy says the character’s return was always planned: “This has been in the blueprint for a long time, yeah. We had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but yes, it was always [to be in Episode IX].” She also spoke about the film’s title and its meaning:
“I think ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ it doesn’t answer anything. It’s provocative, it asks questions, and it could mean a lot of different things and I think that’s what was important to us. We didn’t want to have a title that felt like it was telling you the story. At the same time, it needs to feel emotional, which is a challenge to try to figure out what that might be. And I think the word Skywalker, it’s captured all 40 years of what’s gone before.”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opens in cinemas in December