Star Wars has had a rocky tenure under Disney, with various aspects of the franchise not living up to expectations. Turning to the future, it seems that it will be full of promising content, it might be just as turbulent. just as rocky as its past. Delays are evident within film, TV and gaming, though with the latter it’s more reflective of the gaming industry, and less so with Lucasfilm. However, while there may be dark spots, the future of the franchise is bright.
Starting with films, there is much to be hopeful for. Future Star Wars films will be helmed by hugely successful figures – Rian Johnson, Patty Jenkins, Kevin Feige, and Taika Watiti. Rian Johnson is having great success with Knives Out, and its sequel is reviewing well. While Wonder Woman 1984 was received to a more lukewarm reaction when compared to the first, the original gave audiences a Wonder Woman with compassion and optimism, nailing the character. Kevin Feige’s success with Marvel needs no explaining, and Taika Watiti has not only revitalised the Thor franchise, but also found success in The Mandalorian, wrapping up the first season and voicing IG-11. Star Wars films are in good hands.
While this is the case, there are still issues. Only two of these films are in production, and it seems to be very early production at that. Taika Watiti’s film still hasn’t received a name yet, and Rogue Squadron is likely to be in late pre-production. Rogue Squadron also got put on hold, with Disney removing it from its release schedule. It’s not clear when either film will come out. After Rogue Squadron, the next Star Wars release is marked for 2025, though nothing has been revealed about it.
Audiences may have to wait a few more years until the next Star Wars film, but on the small screen they have much to look forward to. Andor is yet to come out at the time of writing, but its political theming is going back to what George Lucas wanted to explore in the Original Trilogy, honouring his work. Tales of the Jedi has released an awesome trailer teasing a younger Dooku, and 2023 there are currently no less than four Star Wars projects set for release. The Mandalorian looks like it’s going bigger than ever, and with Ahsoka Dave Filoni will be able to prove his live-action skills to the fullest. But again, the spectre of a delay hangs present. Three out of the four Star Wars projects during 2022 have experienced delay or confusion with their release, casting doubt if the projects will release on time. Poor scheduling and communication are a factor in TV too, just like the movies.
In the world of gaming, Lucasfilm looks strong, though with some cracks. Now that EA no longer holds an exclusive licence to create Star Wars games, fans can look forward to an open world Star Wars game by Ubisoft, Star Wars Eclipse by Quantic Dream and a remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, formally by Aspyr. EA is still publishing Jedi: Survivor when it releases in 2023. However, Lucasfilm has used the freedom of picking developers poorly. Both Quantic Dream and Ubisoft have been accused of various forms of harassment and an overall toxic working culture, but Lucasfilm is still content to work with these studios, not to mention Quantic Dream’s questionable treatment of marginalised characters. That’s to say nothing of still working with EA, though Jedi: Fallen Order is a rare spark of microtransaction free joy, so here’s to hoping the sequel will be too.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic faced huge news a couple of months ago, when it was delayed indefinitely. Aspyr had made insufficient progress on the game, and did not meet expectations of Lucasfilm or Sony. Bloomberg has reported that the game has moved to Saber Interactive, so hopefully this game will come out in the next few years. While gaming delays are common throughout the industry, and have little to do with Lucasfilm, it’s unfortunate that the developer Lucasfilm initially chose fell through so publicly.
There is a huge amount of Star Wars projects to look forward to in all parts of the franchise, and a lot of it will come in 2023. This isn’t to say everything is perfect, it’s evident that Lucasfilm needs to work on its communication, with projects announced and going silent for months. Scheduling is also an issue that needs fixing, especially if it turns out that any of the projects in 2023 get delayed. Lucasfilm is attempting to run itself like Marvel Studios, which isn’t working.