Back in 2012, the news that Disney had purchased Lucasfilm and was going to make a new Star Wars trilogy was jaw-dropping enough, but they took things to the next level by revealing plans for other Star Wars spin-off films as well. There’s been non-stop rumors and speculation about who or what those spin-offs will involve, with Han Solo, Boba Fett, and even Yoda named as possible candidates for a solo film (or a Solo film). Earlier this month Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that three standalone films were in the works, and that they would release in alternate years in between Episode VII, VIII, and IX. But while plot details are still being kept secret, details from a Hasbro event may have revealed Disney’s Star Wars gameplan, including a third spin-off film focused on the X-wing pilots of Red Squadron.
The rumor originated on the German website Star Wars Union, with the information allegedly coming from a Hasbro event reps from the site attended. Hasbro holds the Star Wars toy license, so it makes sense that they might have details the rest of us don’t, especially regarding the general long game of the Star Wars franchise in the coming years, as Disney attempts to give it “the Marvel treatment.” So what’s the big deal? SWU says that the event included a breakdown of Disney’s Star Wars plan through 2020. Check out the alleged release schedule:
- 2014: Rebels
- 2015: Episode VII
- 2016: Boba Fett
- 2017: Episode VIII
- 2018: Solo
- 2019: Episode IX
- 2020: Red Five
Most of that is no surprise, either confirmed or regarded as a given based on Disney’s comments in the past. The animated series Rebels, set between Episodes III and IV, is set to premiere later this year, and the Boba Fett and young Han Solo movies have been the most heavily rumored in the spin-off department, so slotting them in between Episodes makes sense.
The Red Five movie, however, is a totally new contender. However, authors Michael Stackpole and Aaron Allston’s wrote several books focused on X-wing squadrons, and that Expanded Universe material could very easily be mined for use in a third Star Wars spin-off. Confirmed details about Disney’s grand Star Wars plan remain elusive, but while the Expanded Universe is no longer canon, they will be borrowing elements from it where they see fit. That includes rumors about Luke Skywalker’s eventual flame Mara Jade popping up in both Rebels and eventually in the new feature trilogy.
The title of “Red Five” has actually been used by several characters throughout the Star Wars mythology, most notably by Luke Skywalker during the Battle of Yavin, and his father Anakin during the Clone Wars. I can totally see a Top Gun-style Star Wars spin-off focusing on X-Wing pilots. And if true, it suggests that Disney is truly interested in expanding the type of stories Star Wars canon will officially tell, rather than just serving up new spins on the franchise’s most popular characters. That’s good news, as far as I’m concerned.
It’s worth noting that both Jedi News and MakingStarWars.net apparently ran this story earlier and were forced to take it down. We’ll have to wait and see if Disney’s lawyers come knocking on our door. Even without that, the news about Disney’s long-term game plan has the air of authenticity about it. After all, this is the company that allegedly has its Marvel slate planned out through 2028. Stay tuned…
Star Wars Rebels will premiere on the Disney Channel this fall, before then switching over to Disney XD for the bulk of its run. Episode VII is due to hit theaters on December 18, 2015.