It’s been quite a busy year so far for Star Wars fans, particularly within the last 24 hours when Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger confirmed the rumors that the studio will be releasing a series of stand-alone Star Wars movies that will be released outside of the new trilogy. Iger confirmed that these new offshoot films will focus on specific characters from the Star Wars universe.
Below is the official statement from Lucasfilm:
The Star Wars cinematic galaxy is about to experience a Big Bang. Lucasfilm is officially announcing new spinoff films that will expand the mythos and depths of the Star Wars universe in previously unexplored ways.
One of the standalone films will be written by Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and co-writer of Return of the Jedi while the other will be penned by Simon Kinberg, writer of Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The movies will be separate from the upcoming Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, on which Kasdan and Kinberg are also consulting, and are expected to be released sometime after Episode VII. Each standalone film will focus on a specific character, and two spinoff films are currently confirmed.
In a call to investors, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, revealed while the original focus was on the highly-anticipated sequel trilogy, the idea of spinoff films was bandied about early and the additional films are now becoming a reality. “We are in development of a few standalone films,” he said, “that are not part of the Star Wars saga…there are now creative entities working on developing scripts for what would be those standalone films.”
Now, Entertainment Weekly is reporting that they’ve learned who the subjects will be for the first two stand-alone films; Boba Fett and Han Solo. According to the report, the Han Solo project will be set between the prequel trilogy and the original trilogy while the Boba Fett project would take place sometime between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. If true, the timeline of these two projects would allow for Darth Vader to return to the big screen as a key, if not main, villain.
There’s no word yet on what additional Star Wars character films might be explored, although rumors have already begun to circulate (via Ain’t It Cool News) that a project based on Yoda may garner the focus of the studio. As it stands now, all of these stand-alone projects are expected to be released after the arrival of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, the first chapter in the new trilogy.