The Force will be with us, always.
During its fourth-quarter earnings call today, Nov. 9, Disney announced that it will produce a fourth trilogy of Star Wars films. Star Wars’ website confirmed that Rian Johnson would be the creative force behind the new movies. Johnson wrote and directed the eighth movie in the original Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, which is set to debut this December.
It’s a bold move for the media company, given that Johnson’s first foray into the Star Wars universe is still not out. But given that Disney has fired more directors than it’s kept on its Star Wars films—and is actually returning to directors it’s used already—a little consistency may not be a bad thing.
After a poor earnings report that showed revenue fell 3% from the same period last year, Disney’s stock dropped about 3% in after-hours trading. But after the news of the new Star Wars trilogy filtered through to Wall Street, the stock rose 2% from its closing price for the day.
The new trilogy will, mercifully, be entirely separate from the arc of the Skywalker family that has dictated the three trilogies already produced or in the process of being released. Johnson’s new works will “introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored,” according to the series’ website.
Disney also announced that it will produce a live-action Star Wars television series that will air on its new streaming service in 2019. Details on what the series will be about were not released. There have been a few animated Star Wars series over the last 15 years, which have actually provided plot points and characters for the main Star Wars films, but this would be the first live-action Star Wars production for TV since the ill-fated Star Wars Holiday Special in 1978.