STAR WATCH

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

With The Force Awak­ens hav­ing grabbed north of $ 2 bil­lion at the world­wide box of­fice, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing that Dis­ney CEO Bob Iger has con­firmed there’ll be even more Star Wars movies af­ter 2019, to fol­low up the al­ready- an­nounced stand­alone Rogue One and Han Solo films, and of course, Episodes VIII and IX.

“There are five Star Wars films – four more [ af­ter] The Force Awak­ens – that are in vary­ing stages of de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion,” Iger told the BBC’s News­beat. “There will be more af­ter that, I don’t know how many, I don’t know how of­ten.”

Alas, it looks like we’ll be wait­ing longer than orig­i­nally ex­pected to find out whether Luke Sky­walker ac­tu­ally has any­thing to say to Rey on his re­mote is­land re­treat – Episode VIII has been moved back from its orig­i­nal May slot to a 15 De­cem­ber 2017 berth, turn­ing Star Wars into an an­nual Christ­mas treat. If it worked for The Lord Of The Rings...

But de­spite that de­lay, the movie has started shoot­ing with Rian John­son at the helm, while Dis­ney has con­firmed the re­turn of most of the orig­i­nal cast. There’s no men­tion of Har­ri­son Ford and – more sur­pris­ingly – Peter May­hew, but it does look like Kylo Ren, Cap­tain Phasma and Gen­eral Hux made it off Starkiller Base in one piece, as all three ac­tors are back. There are also three fresh faces con­firmed for the movie: Beni­cio del Toro, new­comer Kelly Marie Tran and Juras­sic Park’s Laura Dern.

Luck­ily we don’t need to wait un­til Episode VIII to learn more about Em­pire trib­ute act the First O rder. Clau­dia Gray’s new novel Bloodline ( due May) is set a few years be­fore The Force Awak­ens, and fea­tures Leia the sen­a­tor re­al­is­ing the New Re­pub­lic hasn’t learned any lessons from the Re­bel­lion and the E mpire. Ain’t that al­ways the way...

She’ll be back.

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