by Graham Pierrepoint
We’re barely into the third Star Wars trilogy, thanks to the hugely popular Force Awakens last year, and we know very little about Episode VIII – which doesn’t even have a title – due to land in cinemas later this year. It’s a very exciting time to be a fan of the Star Wars universe – Rogue One satisfied many fan appetites during the gap between episodes, and with news of spin-offs and prequels having long since been on the cards, there’s every reason to sit tight and be excited for what Disney has in store for the franchise in the years to come. The Week, however, poses a fairly and bizarrely common question – will there be another saga beyond the ninth episode?
It’s hard to say – some have suggested that creator George Lucas had originally intended for there two be twelve separate parts to the main saga, while he only oversaw six of them – but who would the later movies center around? Would they feature an entirely new cast, or borrow from the beloved stock of old? It has to be said, one of the main reasons The Force Awakens (Episode VII) was so appealing lies in its seamless mixing of existing lore with new characters and old – and it’s hoped that once the curtain falls on Episode IX, we will be just as comfortable with the likes of Finn, Rey, Poe and BB-8 as we always have been with Luke, Han, Leia and the droids.
Rumors are circulating that the franchise could return to Darth Vader’s training under Emperor Palpatine, as there is still a gap between Episodes III and IV rather uncatered for – but by the time that Disney have worked their magic with various prequels and embellishments, there may be little of the past left to probe! Does this mean that the best route forward, if any, is to push with stories set in the far future? It’s hard to say.
What’s certain to say, however, is that fans will continue to flock to Star Wars movies, and that Disney’s acquisition of the franchise continues to have been a very shrewd move – and with Carrie Fisher (Leia) having recently passed away, the films will now take on a whole new poignancy – particularly as Episodes VIII and IX were set to offer the character more screen time. Fisher, thankfully, finished filming her scenes for VIII – but where IX stands without her, it is not currently known.