The Force Awakens was a huge hit for Disney, making over $2 billion worldwide. Followed by Rogue One’s $1 billion and The Last Jedi’s $1.3 billion, the House of Mouse seemed confidence to keep churning out Star Wars movies. Upping the charge from one a year, Solo arrived less than five months after The Last Jedi – something even Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill thought was “over-saturation”. Indeed his prophecy proved true, as the spin-off prequel made a shockingly low $392 million worldwide on a budget of as much as $300 million – following extensive reshoots.
It’s not surprising then, that, apart from Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm have no more Star Wars movies to announce for the time being.
Disney boss Bob Iger recently told Bloomberg: “We will take a pause, some time, and reset because the Skywalker saga comes to an end with this ninth movie.
“There will be other Stars Wars movies, but there will be a bit of a hiatus.”
But why a hiatus? Was it just the box office disappointment in Solo, or maybe also the fan backlash to The Last Jedi?
Well, now Kennedy has revealed exactly why, speaking with Empire after the Episode IX panel at Star Wars Celebration on Friday.
James Dyer revealed on the Empire podcast: “Funnily enough I asked Kathleen Kennedy this very question and she was quite candid.
“She said they learned their lessons from Solo; that doing two films in less than a year wasn’t something the fans were prepared to accept.
“And she’s hands up… ‘we made a mistake with that.’”
He added: “She’s eased her foot off the gas massively on this because she doesn’t want to see a repeat of Solo’s box office.”
Apparently, it’s likely that the more niche Star Wars content will be cranked up for TV via the upcoming Disney+.
In fact, the new streaming service is going to launch with The Mandalorian, which is set after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, while it’s believed the broader Star Wars stories will be saved for future movies – ones that will be more of an event and released less often.
But for now, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is released in UK cinemas on December 19, 2019.