Last October, the Walt Disney Corporation acquired Lucasfilm and all of its subsidiaries including Skywalker Sound, Industrial Light & Magic, and the now-defunct LucasArts. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced that there would be a new Star Wars movie — Star Wars: Episode VII — released sometime in 2015. But Disney didn’t drop $4.05 billion just to make a new Star Wars trilogy. They wanted to explore every facet of what the Star Wars brand could do for them, taking the Marvel Cinematic Universe approach with new spin-off movies, new animated series, and theme park attractions. Now they’re revealing just how ambitious that plan is.
During Disney’s presentation to theater exhibitors and press at this year’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada, they announced that they would be releasing one Star Wars movie every summer, starting with Star Wars: Episode VII in 2015. The plan would be to alternate “Episode” movies with other spin-offs every year going forward. Originally, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney would release two to three Star Wars movies a year, but now it seems like one movie a year will do.
While the storyline of the upcoming Star Wars films are unclear at this point, this is a very aggressive strategy from Disney. Hopefully Star Wars will follow in the footsteps of other Disney-owned entertainment titans such as Pixar and Marvel, in terms of both output and quality. Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have been writing new Star Wars screenplays for Disney and consulting on Star Wars: Episode VII for director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Michael Arndt, so it’s good to see that there’s already something in the works for summer 2016 and the future.
This announcement also serves as a solid confirmation that Star Wars: Episode VII will be released during the summer of 2015. Considering that Disney also has Marvel’s The Avengers 2, Pete Docter’s Inside Out for Pixar Animation, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 all slated for summer 2015, it looks like that year will be a very lucrative one for the Mouse House indeed.