The Star Wars franchise is moving away from movie trilogies

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says the three-act format can be very restricting, storytelling-wise

The much awaited release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will likely mark the end of the franchise’s era of trilogies.

In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed that the production company is planning to move away from movie trilogies, which can be very restricting, creatively speaking.

“I think it gives us a more open-ended view of storytelling and doesn’t lock us into this three-act structure,” Kennedy said of abandoning the big-screen narrative format that fans have been accustomed to since the original Star Wars trilogy. “We’re not going to have some finite number and fit it into a box. We’re really going to let the story dictate that.”

With the entire Star Wars movies grossing over 9 billion at the box office, there’s no doubt that the trilogy format has worked pretty well for the franchise. So steering away from the trilogy format could be very risky, most especially after the last Star Wars anthology movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, flopped at the box office. Despite the risks, Kennedy and her fellow executives at Lucasfilm strongly believe that it’s about time to shake up the structure of the movie franchise.

“Obviously, that’s what’s we’ve been spending so much time talking about, and it’s a really important transition for ‘Star Wars,’” Kennedy said. “What we’ve been focused on these last five or six years is finishing that family saga around the Skywalkers. Now is the time to start thinking about how to segue into something new and different.”

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The next Star Wars movie after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is slated to be released in 2022. Kennedy said that the three-year break in the film franchise was a decision made by the company to give itself enough time to prepare for the next batch of Star Wars films.

“We’re literally making this up from whole cloth and bringing in filmmakers to find what these stories might be,” Kennedy explained of the breather. “It can take a while before you find what direction you might want to go. We need the time to do that.”

Disney CEO Bob Iger also talked about the hiatus last May. “[We thought] it would be smart for us to take a bit of a hiatus while we figure out what’s next. Now, we’re not going to wait until [The Rise of Skywalker] is released and start figuring it out, we’re actually hard at work doing that already,” Iger said at the MoffetNathanson Media & Communications summit. “The conclusion that we reached was that three years was the proper amount of time to not only take a breather and reset, but to really gear up for the next film’s release.”