The Star Wars Cinematic Universe: What we know so far

Posted on 19 January 2016
By Alex Green
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Looking ahead and what we already know…

Shared cinematic universes are all the rage nowadays in Hollywood and it hasn’t escaped even the might of the Star Wars film universe.

This is no surprise considering that Lucasfilm, the company who owns and distributes everything Star Wars, is now owned by Disney who also just happen to own Marvel Studios, creators of the shared cinematic universe.

After Marvel’s successful formula with this, it’s easy to see why so many other franchises are doing it for themselves. Disney and Lucasfilm have a plan for a Star Wars film every year until 2020 at the least.

So, let’s look ahead to these projects and talk about we do know so far…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First in line of the Star Wars Anthology films, a set of films set in the regular Star Wars Universe but not affiliated with the new sequel trilogy, is Rogue One which is set to be released in December 2016.

What we know so far is that Rogue One is set in between episodes III and IV and focuses on a band of Rebels who set out to steal the plans to the Death Star before it can be properly enforced.

In episode IV we see that the Rebels have the plans and when Princess Leia puts the plans into R2-D2, the Star Wars story is born but we never did find out the rebel alliance acquired these plans.

Cast members so far include Felicity Jones, Forrest Whittaker, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Jonathon Aris, Riz Ahmed, Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen.

This is definitely an interesting idea for a film and if done correctly, it could be a very popular addition to the Star Wars Universe. By correctly, we would want to see a film that encapsulates the feel of a Star Wars film e.g. good vs. evil, epic action sequences, unexpected heroes, and menacing villain’s etc but whilst also being its own film with its own characteristics, as it is set apart from the trilogies.

The setting of the story also gives the director, Gareth Edwards, a great chance to try and capture the essence of the original trilogy. We know parts of the film are being shot with a Ultra Panavision 70 lenses on 65mm film stock, rather than the preferred digital film most modern films use.

This could definitely help with the aesthetics and I think along with the story and the final decision between using CGI and Practical effects, Rogue One could definitely become a very fun and popular addition to the Star Wars Story.

Episode VIII

There’s not a whole lot we do know about Episode VIII just now. At the helm is Rian Johnson, director of hits Brick and Looper, who is writing and directing this next sequel in the trilogy.

We also know Episode VII director J.J. Abrams is stepping into an Executive Producer role though he’s recently stated his regret at not directing VIII due to how good Johnson’s script is.

Stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega have also stated their praise for the script, with Boyega commenting on how much ‘darker’ it is than Episode VII. The Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan has also said that Johnson’s story is ‘weird’ and ‘it’s not like anything that’s ever been in Star Wars.’ If The Force Awakens followed A New Hope closely, it would make sense for VIII to take some inspiration from The Empire Strikes Back.

It’s been confirmed that the entire cast of The Force Awakens will return for Episode VIII by Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, who is also confirmed there will be a handful of new characters stepping in too, the most notable so far being Benicio del Toro who confirmed himself as a villain last year.

Whilst the return of many of the films main characters won’t be surprise, what is a surprise is that Harrison Ford/Han Solo surely fits into that bill too. After Han’s emotional farewell in TFA, we have to wonder whether or not his appearance, if he has one at all, will be more of a flashback than a full blown return. We will just have to wait and find out until more details emerge.

TFA left audiences with a lot to ponder about a number of things, the most notable being the mystery that is Rey, Luke’s future and intentions, the next step for Finn and even Poe, how the First Order will react and how Kylo Ren will adapt to killing his father. Hopefully Episode VIII will bring us a little closer to the truth.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is set for release on May 26th, 2017.

Untitled Han Solo Origin film

Set for release on May 25th 2018, the only things we know for our Young Han Solo film is that it’s being directed by The Lego Movie and 21 & 22 Jump Street directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. It’s also being written by Father and son duo Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.

Reports have claimed that several thousand actors have auditioned for the role of young Solo with no name being announced just yet.

Episode IX

As you can expect, not a lot of information has been released for Episode IX just yet. We know Rian Johnson has been penned as the scriptwriter for the film and that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has been hired to direct.

Episode IX is scheduled for release on May 24th, 2019.

Boba Fett solo film

No information on a director or a writer has been released from Lucasfilm or Disney for this and all that we know is the film will be released sometime in 2020, most likely in May to follow the films that came before them.

There will be more updates when we know them.