OK, The Rise of Skywalker is almost out. But: what’s next? That’s the big question looming over the Star Wars franchise as it reaches forward into uncharted territory, unmoored from stories about Anakin Skywalker and his big multi-generational fuck up. It’s also the subject Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, tackles in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times.
Kennedy, one of the founders of Amblin Entertainment, is no stranger to building the future of a production company out of uncertainty, and she emphasised the degree to which that uncertainty is on everyone’s mind at Lucasfilm.
“Obviously, that’s what’s we’ve been spending so much time talking about, and it’s a really important transition for ‘Star Wars,’” Kennedy said. “What we’ve been focused on these last five or six years is finishing that family saga around the Skywalkers. Now is the time to start thinking about how to segue into something new and different.”
What might that look like? Well, it’s a work in progress, Kennedy said, fuelled by the time bought by Kennedy convincing Bob Iger to agree to slow down production on new Star Wars movies after Solo.
“We’re literally making this up from whole cloth and bringing in filmmakers to find what these stories might be,” Kennedy said. “It can take a while before you find what direction you might want to go. We need the time to do that.”
But while the details of these new stories are somewhat unclear—though we know Rian Johnson and Kevin Feige are just two of the many, many minds working on developing them—Kennedy shared something about what to expect from the format: no more trilogies. While three-film units have been the traditional method of telling big, core-universe Star Wars stories, that format isn’t going to be an expected template going forward.
“I think it gives us a more open-ended view of storytelling and doesn’t lock us into this three-act structure,” she said. “We’re not going to have some finite number and fit it into a box. We’re really going to let the story dictate that.”
She also said that, while the Skywalker Saga will be over, that doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning all the characters created in the new trilogy. So while Poe, Finn, and Rey might not return anytime soon, that doesn’t rule out others from showing up in new films.