Outside of October, the fan-favorite animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars is similarly expected to return for a limited run of brand-new episodes on Disney Play sometime next year. Episode IX is a major part of Lucasfilm, expanding the Star Wars brand and keeping it relevant, but it is far from the only part.
Star Wars has survived a trilogy of critically panned prequels, a mythically reviled holiday special, two Ewok-centric television films, a whole host of questionable Expanded Universe titles and a lengthy period of inactivity with the general public outside of the Expanded Universe, which lasted nearly two decades. Questionable storytelling choices in The Last Jedi and box office disappointment for Solo will almost assuredly not be the things that derail the entire franchise moving forward.
Next year is shaping up to be the biggest year for Star Wars in its 41-year history. With two new television debuts, Episode IX being released in December and Star Wars-branded theme park extensions coming to Disney next summer, the entire franchise is actually the most relevant and robust it has been arguably since its debut in 1977. The brand is one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable in the whole world, and both Lucasfilm and Disney are understandably very strategic about how they position it in the future. While they may be reassessing the future of spinoff films, including cancelling plans for a Boba Fett film, the brand and its standard has long been set by the public.
Course correction or not, the future of Star Wars will continue to survive and thrive beyond Episode IX. The Star Wars brand is fine, long live Star Wars.
Directed and co-written by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: Episode IX stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Matt Smith, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film is scheduled to open on Dec. 20, 2019.