3 Surprising New Star Wars Films Will Redefine The Timeline Forever
Don’t call it a trilogy.
The future of cinematic Star Wars is finally coming into sharper focus. In the coming years, big-screen adventures set in a galaxy far, far away will happen in three distinct time periods, seemingly unconnected from each other. But make no mistake, this new anti-trilogy is a big deal and will shake up the Star Wars timeline permanently.
At Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London, Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy revealed details for the three new Star Wars films, each of which takes place in a different timeline.
What are the new Star Wars movies about?
- Dawn of the Jedi movie: Directed by James Mangold (Logan) this film will take place 25,000 years before The Phantom Menace and is described as a “biblical” era of the Jedi.
- Mando-era movie: Directed by fan favorite Dave Filoni, this film will be set in the same era as Ahsoka, The Book of Boba Fett, and The Mandalorian, and according to Gizmodo will be about “the conflict between the Imperial Remnant and the New Republic.” Based on the new Ahsoka trailer, this means this movie will be directly set up by the new Disney+ shows.
- Rey Skywalker movie: Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel), this film will take place in a post-Rise of Skywalker era, which will now be called “The Jedi Order” time period. The movie will focus on Daisy Ridley as Rey who is now, a Jedi Master.
How the new Star Wars movies change the saga
For a long time, there’s been an ongoing discussion both in Star Wars fandom, and among the people who make Star Wars, that the canon is larger than just the “Skywalker Saga.” And yet, even The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett featured Luke Skywalker, while Kenobi featured Luke, Leia, and Anakin Skywalker. But now, with these three new films, it appears Lucasfilm could actually break away from the Skywalker legacy as the centerpiece of the timeline. Tellingly, the chronology of the Star Wars universe is measured by the number of years each installment takes place relative to the 1977 film A New Hope. In Andor, we even got proof that this Skywalker-saga-centered dating system exists within the canon itself. But, what these three new films suggest is that the entire timeline of Star Wars will be rethought, and basically, reorganized.
This isn’t to say that there’s a reboot happening here, or that Lucasfilm is throwing out one timeline in favor of another. Obviously, they’re not. But, heading back to the “Dawn of the Jedi,” 25,000 years before the existing films is a retcon anyway you slice it. Plus, having Rey move forward into a new era as a Jedi Master reemphasizes the idea that Luke, Leia, and Anakin weren’t as central to the Force as we previously believed. The Rise of Skywalker asserts Rey as the ultimate Jedi, which means, anything that moves forward beyond that point redefines the Jedi by default. Meanwhile, the Mando-era movie could make the case that everything that happened with the Empire after the events of Return of the Jedi were more pivotal than previously believed. In other words, no matter how hard the Ewoks partied, the Empire wasn’t really defeated until the New Republic beat Thrawn.
The Inverse Analysis — Essentially, each of these new movies plants a flag in a new part of the Star Wars timeline, which redirects the focus of the saga into a slightly different narrative than before. It will be impossible to eclipse the popularity of the classic trilogy, but if this new strategy is successful, the Star Wars galaxy on the big screen might finally feel much, much bigger.