Kathleen Kennedy Wants Star Wars Movies to Feel Like Events Again

Main poster for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

Image: Lucasfilm

There comes a point in every movie franchise where new installments don’t feel quite as special as they usually do. Maybe it’s because the series has become annualized, or maybe it’s just that so many entries have diminished the magic—either way, this has happened before, and Star Wars was one of its most recent victims.

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But with new movies planned to start up again fairly soon, the hope is that those movies can feel special once more. Talking to Empire, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy talked about bringing the magic back to Star Wars films with the trio of movies that were previously announced in April. She likened the new release schedule to MGM’s James Bond movies, referencing how they came out “every three or four years, and there wasn’t this pressure to feel like you had to have a movie every year. I feel that was very important to Star Wars. We have to eventise this.”

After 2015’s The Force Awakens, Disney elected to have one movie out per following year, alternating between episodic installments (2017’s The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker in 2019) and spinoffs (Rogue One in 2016, then 2018’s Solo). For a time, most of those movies garnered solid-to-strong reviews and mighty box offices, but the underperformance of Solo resulted in Disney changing its strategy. Projects that were previously movies were reworked into TV shows years after Rise’s release, and the franchise has generally belonged to streaming ever since The Mandalorian became a hit.

At present, there aren’t firm release dates for any of the movies announced, from the new trio of movies to whatever Taika Waititi’s working on. Wisely, Kennedy added that these films will be made and release when everything’s in the best condition for them to do so, and not a moment before. “We’re going to make these movies when they’re ready to be made, and release them when they’re ready to be released.”

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