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Lucasfilm announces Star Wars spinoff films

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Feb 6, 2013 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
Ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in late 2012, the "Star Wars" franchise has been getting a lot of press. First came the news during the initial acquisition period that the original series of films would finally be getting their conclusion in Episodes 7, 8 and 9. To further whet fans' appetites, it was revealed that Episode 7 would be coming as soon as 2015. However, during a recent interview, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy seemed to suggest a 2015 release date might not be a reality. In the interview, when discussing how she convinced marquee director J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Star Trek Into the Darkness), she stated, "Our goal is to move as quickly as we can, and we'll see what happens. The timetable we care about is getting the story." The decision to push back the target opening date for Episode 7 in order to put quality first was strengthened when Lucasfilm announced they would postpone releasing 3D versions of Episodes 2 and 3 (scheduled for release later this year) so as to focus all of their attention on the new film.

Today, Lucasfilm made an official announcement clarifying comments made by Disney CEO Bob Iger in a call to investors regarding the possibility of standalone "Star Wars" movies. In the call, Iger said, "We are in development of a few standalone films that are not part of the Star Wars saga...there are now creative entities working on developing scripts for what would be those standalone films." As it turns out, there will indeed be "spinoff" movies aiming to expand the "Star Wars" universe. Current plans call for at least two films, each revolving around a "specific character" planned for release sometime after Episode 7 hits theatres. One will be written by Lawrence Kasdan, writer of "The Empire Strikes Back" and co-writer of "Return of the Jedi." The other will be written by Simon Kinberg, screenwriter of "Sherlock Holmes" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly posted exclusive information regarding the possible characters around whom the standalone films would revolve. According to EW.com, the spinoffs would feature Han Solo and Boba Fett. The article also claims the Han Solo installment would take place between Episode 3 ("Revenge of the Sith") and Episode 4 (the original 1977 "Star Wars" film referred to as 'A New Hope'). The events of the Boba Fett spinoff would allegedly occur between either Episode 4 and 5 ("The Empire Strikes Back") or between Episodes 5 and 6 ("Return of the Jedi"). As the article notes, perhaps just as interesting as whom the central figures will be is the realization that both films, because of when they take place in "Star Wars" chronology, could employ the services of Darth Vader.

The EW.com article does remind readers that these plans are all tentative and could always change. As a result, "Lucasfilm and Disney declined to comment on the information."