The Rise of Skywalker might be here, but Star Wars isn’t over over. There’s still plenty of money for Disney to wring out of it.
In case you hadn’t heard (lol), Dec. 20 brings us the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga. That’s the name we use now to refer to the three separate trilogies tracking the exploits of the characters and lineages first introduced in 1977’s original Star Wars.
With The Rise of Skywalker bringing the original story to a close, what’s a Star Wars fan to do for new stories? We’ve got you covered. Star Wars the franchise has been bigger than that set of movies since pretty much its earliest days. Name a popular entertainment medium, and you can bet the series has gone there — and it’s still going.
Read on for a rundown of the various options available to those who’d like to continue visiting their favorite galaxy far, far away.
If you’ve never strayed beyond the stories told in Star Wars movies, books are perhaps the best place to start. Just tread carefully. The older series of books, which now fall under the “Star Wars Legends” heading, are great, but they were definitively cast out of the canon not long after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, because that so-called “Expanded Universe” story had become too cumbersome.
Here’s a handy list of all the Star Wars books now considered part of the new canon. It’s pretty much everything released since 2014. The coming year will bring some new ones, including a number of options for readers of all ages. I’ll focus primarily on the adult-oriented books here, with two exceptions in short story collections. Both are technically aimed at younger readers, but Star Wars has a great track record of delivering nifty anthologies.
The Clone Wars Anthology, out Aug. 25, retells some of the popular stories from the Clone Wars TV series, but with a very cool twist. Instead of simply novelizing arcs from the show, this anthology re-tells each various story arcs from the perspective of just one of the characters involved.
Coming one month earlier, on July 28, is Dark Legends. The description makes this one sound like a collection of ghost stories set in the Star Wars universe. The book’s six illustrated “fables” – at least one of which draws on the fiction introduced in Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge theme park – are meant to stand as a spooky follow-up to the previously released Star Wars: Myths & Fables, which featured the same creative team of author George Mann and illustrator Grant Griffin.
Perhaps the highlight in 2020 for adult Star Wars readers is Chaos Rising, a new novel out on May 5 from fan-favorite author Timothy Zahn. In the new book, the first in a trilogy, Zahn revisits Thrawn, a character he created inside the old canon who’s been reworked for the post-Disney franchise. The new “Ascendancy Trilogy” will explore Thrawn’s early days before he joined the Empire, and take us on a tour of his native Chiss Ascendancy.
The following month, on June 23, fans will get Shadow Fall, a follow-up to the 2019 novel Alphabet Squadron. The two books follows the exploits of the titular squadron, who each fly a different class of Star Wars ship as they hunt down the remnants of the Empire in the days after Return of the Jedi. (There’s also a tie-in comic book miniseries called Star Wars: TIE Fighter that follows the exploits of Alphabet‘s antagonists, the Shadow Wing.)
Fans should also keep an eye out in January for more information on the mysterious Project Luminous. Announced earlier in 2019, the as-yet-untitled effort will feature the work of five Star Wars authors – Cavan Scott, Claudia Gray, Charles Soule, Daniel José Older, and Justina Ireland – and will tell a story that spans both books and comics. A fuller reveal is expected in 2020, with a series launch to follow in the same year.
Running through every single comic book series for Star Wars fans would be a hefty undertaking, so let’s just stay focused on things that are entirely new in 2020. If you want a more complete list of what’s coming up, Wookieepedia’s got you covered.
If you’re looking for an immediate fix, the very first issue of Marvel’s new Star Wars series (that’s what it’s called), written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Jesús Saiz, is out in January. The new story picks up after the events of Empire Strikes Back, showing us what happened to the series’ most beloved characters between the events of that and Return of the Jedi.
A month after that, a new Darth Vader series kicks off, written by Greg Pak and illustrated by Raffaele Ienco. This one also picks up after Empire Strikes Back, but it focuses on the Dark Lord of the Sith as he deals with the aftermath of his “I am your father” mic drop moment and sets out to punish those who hid from him the existence of Anakin Skywalker’s only son.
Finally, in March, Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, written by Ethan Sacks and illustrated by Paolo Villanelli, kicks off another new series. This one follows Beilart Valance (a character first introduced in older, pre-Disney comics) on a quest for revenge against his former mentor. But it isn’t long before Valance crosses paths with a number of other, more familiar Star Wars bounty hunters and the mystery deepens. We don’t know a whole lot about this one just yet.
There’s also a number of upcoming trade paperback collections that pull together full sets of earlier releases, as well as all the still-ongoing stories – including a relatively new one that charts the early days of a younger Kylo Ren,
Let’s get the movies out of the way, since (in case you didn’t know) it’s not great news. After The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, there won’t be another Star Wars movie released until the end of 2022. No, we don’t know anything about it. It may be the first in a trilogy of movies that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is set to produce, but it’s honestly so far out that your safest bet is to not count on anything. Just look what happened to the planned Benioff and Weiss trilogy.
The next Star Wars movie currently on Disney’s calendar after the 2022 release is supposed to arrive in Dec. 2024. It’s gonna be a while.
Thanks to Disney+, however, you won’t have to wait quite that long for your live-action Star Wars fix. The Mandalorian will cap off its first season by the end of 2019, but Season 2 is definitely coming. There’s no date on that one yet, but showrunner Jon Favreau has revealed that his work on the first and second seasons was practically “overlapping.” A 2020 release isn’t out of the question.
Further out, in 2021, Rogue One fans can get hype for a Disney+ series focused on Diego Luna’s character, Cassian Andor. There’s no title yet and very little in the way of story details, but the “spy thriller” series will apparently focus on Andor’s earlier missions as a Rebel working against the Empire.
Also coming at some future date, and perhaps as soon as 2021, is a Disney+ series that brings Ewan McGregor back to the role of a younger Obi-Wan Kenobi. Announced at Disney’s D23 event in 2019, the series – which is fully written and will likely start shooting in 2020 – is a bit of a mystery at this point, but we know it picks up eight years after the events of Revenge of the Sith.
If you’re hoping for something a little bit sooner, there’s also the for-kids Disney+ game show, Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. Announced in early December, the game show seems like it could offer a Star Wars twist on classics like Legends of the Hidden Temple. That one’s coming in 2020 and you can read more about it right here.
This is going to be a short one. Currently, there’s nothing officially announced in the world of upcoming Star Wars video games. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order released in Nov. 2019, and mid-2020 is the earliest we’re likely to hear on whatever’s next from publisher Electronic Arts, which has the exclusive license to Star Wars games through 2023.
That said, we can make some educated guesses. For starters, it’s reasonable to expect a Star Wars: Battlefront III at some point. The last game in that series launched in late 2017, so 2020 is a decent bet for the as-yet-unannounced (but seemingly inevitable) sequel to arrive. Especially with new consoles coming from PlayStation and Xbox in the same year. Who wouldn’t want to launch with a new Star Wars game?
Beyond that, no one can really say. Kotaku reported earlier in 2019 that EA had canceled the untitled “Project Ragtag,” which was in development at EA Vancouver. It was said to be some kind of open world bounty hunting game (like a Grand Theft Auto-style Star Wars adventure), but as far as anyone on the outside knows, it’s no longer happening.
That’s all we know on the games front at this point. We’re likely to see at least one or two more Star Wars titles from EA before the licensing agreement ends, but what shape they’ll take and when they’ll be announced remains a mystery.