Wired just published a sprawling report by Adam Rogers about the new ideology behind the maybe-infinite, definitely expanding Star Wars universe. It looks like the galaxy far, far away will be around for a long, long time.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, the movie’s co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards, and a ton of other non-Star Wars related people all contributed to the story on what Star Wars is up to since Disney bought the property in 2012 for $4 billion.
“The company intends to put out a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people will buy tickets,” Rogers writes. “If everything works out for Disney, and if you are (like me) old enough to have been conscious for the first Star Wars film, you will probably not live to see the last one. It’s the forever franchise.”
So you’ll die before Star Wars is over — what of it? Star Wars has quite possibly the most voracious fan base of any movie series in history, and it already has decades of appeal built in. The kids who saw the Special Editions later let their own kids watch the prequels. Eventually the kids who saw the prequels will show their kids the proliferating titles in the main saga or the standalone Star Wars movies, such as a Han Solo or Boba Fett-centric adventure. Writers, like fans, will hand it down to the next generation.
Rogers writes that the whole idea of the “infinite series” basically began with an idea brought up following the Disney acquisition. Lucasfilm CCO John Knoll approached Kennedy in her office and said, “I just have this very simple idea about the rebel spies in the opening crawl of A New Hope who steal the plans for the Death Star.” Kennedy responded, “That is a very good idea, John,” and the kernel for the newly minted interrelated universe was a go.
Rogers’ sources agreed: These intersections are how the multi-faceted universe can continually grow. “We’re essentially making a period piece,” Kiri Hart, the leader of the Lucasfilm Story Group, is quoted, on Rogue One. “The benefit of making additional episodes that move forward on the timeline is that we are making new space for ourselves.”
That doesn’t mean the master plan is complete somewhere. “It’s by no means laid out beat for beat,” Kennedy tells Rogers, and then quotes a line from Raiders of the Lost Ark, which she worked on as an associate to director Steven Spielberg, saying, “We’re making this up as we go.”