By Joe Harker
Disney must be impressed with Rian Johnson, director of upcoming Star Wars film The Last Jedi, because they've given him his very own trilogy.
He will be writing and directing the first film in the new trilogy and might also helm the other two if he impresses sufficiently. With plans for a new Star Wars film to be released every year, it seems that Disney is forward planning well into the next decade, though there are some concerns that so many films will lead to franchise fatigue.
The new trilogy will not feature members of the Skywalker family, instead focusing on new characters in a new setting not previously visited in Star Wars lore. Many fans are hopeful that the films will focus on the Old Republic setting, previously seen in the popular BioWare series of games.
Nerdist believes the new trilogy needs a fresh start with a big time difference between it and existing Star Wars films. It would free the films from bringing back characters as cameos or tripping over canonical events established by the other films. Perhaps the Star Wars story has been too focused on the Skywalkers and needs to show that there are great stories to be told elsewhere in the galaxy.
The new trilogy should come as a major boost to Disney, who saw their first fall in annual profits since 2009. Star Wars is a reliable cash cow both at the box office and with all the merchandising, so keeping the franchise going is a sure fire way to keep the balance sheet looking very healthy.
In addition to more films, there are plans for a new Star Wars TV show that should be available to view by 2019. It will be live action, rather than animated like previous Star Wars series, and will likely appear on Disney's own streaming service. They are planning to take all owned properties off Netflix and other services to set up their own.
While this may sound fantastic to Star Wars fans, there is a risk that it will help cause franchise fatigue. The superhero genre is suffering from so many films in extravagant cinematic universes that is slowly wearing down audiences and the same could happen to Star Wars. While Disney are surely looking forward to the profits each new installment in the franchise brings in, they may end up turning fans away and putting people off Star Wars.