With so much going on in the world of Star Wars, from upcoming TV shows, whether live-action or animated, and a whole bunch of video games on the horizon, it’s a little too easy to forget about what brought the faraway galaxy to life in the first place – the movies (even if The Mandalorian did save the franchise following the sequel trilogy). For a long time, fans waited for the prequel trilogy, and when that series ended in 2004, speculation on a sequel trilogy began. But it would take a long 11 years before that dream ever came to fruition.
Before it did, Lucasfilm was purchased by Disney in 2012, so by the time the first episode hit theaters, Star Wars was under new ownership. Nevertheless, The Force Awakens was the spark that lit the fire of hope and optimism for the future of Star Wars. Another seven years later, however, and those dreams were lost. What became of the sequel trilogy was not what fans had expected, as Disney had squandered a lifelong opportunity by allowing the directors of each film to make it all up as they went along, demonstrating some serious studio malpractice.
Now, the fanbase is divided, with half having turned to the dark side where the sequels are concerned – and who can blame them? Let’s not beat around the bush – those last two films are a mess. But that doesn’t mean Disney intends to stop making Star Wars movies. So, will there be a Star Wars Episode 10? Let’s find out…
Just because The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker were critically slaughtered, though, that doesn’t mean they didn’t turn in hundreds of millions of galactic credits at the global box office, and even went on to inspire themed land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland California and Disney World. All in all, the films were a success, so it won’t surprise you to learn that there are a number of Star Wars films in the pipeline – and this isn’t speculation, it’s solid fact. But do any of these projects include an Episode 10? Let’s take a look.
We’ll start with the most concrete project there is Rogue Squadron. The movie is being directed by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins, into which the director is pouring her love for fighter pilot movies, with her father having died while in service. The movie is scheduled for release in December 2022, and there’s even a teaser online already, in which we learn all about Jenkins’ love for the craft (pun intended). The movie will focus on a new team of starfighters, so it’s obvious that this isn’t Star Wars Episode 10, and will more likely be Star Wars' answer to Top Gun.
Next up, we have Taika Waititi’s Star Wars movie project. However, so far, very little is known about it, other than that the script is still in the “EXT. SPACE” stage, according to the director, though he did also confirm that there is a story there and that it’s very “him”. Marvel President Kevin Feige is also working on his own Star Wars movie, alongside Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Even less is known about this movie, and all Feige has shared is that it won’t feature Han Solo – although we’re not entirely sure why he chose to confirm what it won’t be about.
But is it possible that either the Waititi project or Feige project will be Star Wars Episode 10? It is possible, but given Taika Waititi’s track record in bringing his own unique comic flavor to big franchise movies like Thor: Ragnarok, it’s unlikely his style would be the best way to start a new trilogy. As for Feige, it is a huge possibility, as he has overseen the MCU, which now stands at 25-films-strong, and has demonstrated that, since the very beginning, has worked off a roadmap, the complete opposite approach Disney and Lucasfilm took with the sequel trilogy.
Rogue Squadron clearly isn’t the next 'Episode', but it’s possible that Kevin Feige’s project could be a chronological follow-up to the sequel trilogy, or perhaps even the rumored trilogy that will allegedly feature Kylo Ren – unless it’s a prequel, of course (if any of it is even true). But let’s also not forget about the long-rumored Rian Johnson-directed trilogy, which, a few years ago, had actually been confirmed by Kathleen Kennedy. However, following the enormous backlash to The Last Jedi, things likely changed in an instant.
There are many things the sequel trilogy could benefit from in the meantime, though, to help pave the way for a future 'Episode', such as an animated show like The Clone Wars, which could, at the very least, glue together some of the broken pieces left behind by the last two movies. With that said, it’s possible that spin-off movies are the best course, for two reasons: they would mirror the success of Star Wars on TV, which recently has been varied, and secondly, they would finally allow the franchise ‘move on’ from the Skywalkers (which The Mandalorian was doing quite well until the Season 2 finale).
And who really wants another movie in The Skywalker Saga anyway? Well, perhaps a new film – or trilogy – doesn’t need to focus on the Skywalkers. So then, what could a Star Wars Episode 10 be about? Well, if it is an Episode 10, it can’t be a prequel trilogy. A so-numbered entry would at least need to follow up the sequel trilogy, even if it wasn’t connected from a narrative perspective. Either way, our minds keep drifting towards the now heavily-established show The Mandalorian. It might take place between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy, but we'd be happy with a significant time jump. Old Mando, anyone?
There are already separate rumors of a new Star Wars movie trilogy, with Kylo Ren at the heart of them, which is odd seeing as he dies at the end of The Rise of Skywalker. Or perhaps it will be set before the sequel trilogy, serving as the sequel’s very own prequel trilogy. In fact, the sequel trilogy could indeed benefit from its own set of prequels, and it’s something that would also be symmetrical with the original trilogy and its prequel trilogy. After all, being dumped into the faraway galaxy when the First Order was already at large was quite jarring. And how exactly did Ben Solo become evil anyway?
The Rise of Skywalker, however, creates even more questions that are never answered (is Finn Force-sensitive or not?), while also inexplicably introducing new characters, instead of focusing on the existing ones, of which there are plenty. For starters, there's Jannah, Zorii, and Babu Frik, all of whom were presumably created be appear in future movies, perhaps even an Episode 10. But what about a story? The First Order is now gone, and the Emperor is actually dead this time (apparently). Is there anything left that could justify an Episode 10, or does Star Wars have nothing left other than spin-off movies?
We don’t think that’s true. It all hinges on good storytelling, and if Disney and Lucasfilm can come up with a smart story, not unlike the MCU’s Infinity Stones Saga, that can span a number of new movies, perhaps even more than three, they might be onto a winner. What else could threaten the galaxy, though, if not the Empire or the First Order or the Sith? An incredibly powerful Jedi? The Multiverse? Either way, it’s not up to us to come up with a great new story – this is Disney and Lucasfilm’s job, and next time, they need to deliver.
Whether any of the upcoming Star Wars movies are Episode 10 or not, it’s fair to say that one day it will happen. For now, though, with the widely hated sequel trilogy still fresh in people’s minds, it could be a “long time” until we move any further along the Star Wars timeline.