Rogue One pulled in a gargantuan $1 billion at the box office, and in my opinion, it earned every penny. Prior to release, naysayers were muttering that audiences might not be as engaged with a standalone Star Wars story led by a cast of unknown and untested characters, not to mention that it wasn’t exactly hard to work out how the plot would end (spoiler: they steal the Death Star plans).
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy explained at the The Last Jedi panel this morning though that Rogue One exceeding box office expectations has opened the gates for a parade of Star Wars spinoffs, specifically saying that it’s given the studio “more confidence” to move ahead with stories unconnected to the central saga.
We’ll see the first fruits of this in 2018’s currently untitled Han Solo spinoff, in which we’ll witness the origins of the iconic space smuggler with a heart of gold. Han’s formative adventures will see him befriending a young Lando, encountering his lifelong friend Chewbacca and presumably acquiring the Millennium Falcon for the first time (maybe it won’t be considered quite such a bucket of bolts in the past). This is to be followed in 2020 by an unknown spinoff, which has been rumored to be a Boba Fett or Yoda-centric movie.
There’s a danger that Lucasfilm are spreading Star Wars a little too thin here, of course, but given the quality of The Force Awakens and Rogue One, right now we don’t have too much to worry about. Personally, I’d kill for something set in the Knights of the Old Republic era, thousands of years before a Skywalker ever stared up at Tatooine’s twin suns – a Star Wars film completely freed from continuity would be a real breath of fresh air, don’t you think?