Huge non news today in the Star Wars world as Disney released the finalized line up of their movies through 2021, and people who hadn’t been paying attention noticed when Episode IX was slated to arrive.
The slate for the Star Wars franchise of movies has been set in semi-stone since 2014, when Disney/Lucasfilm first set out the ambitious schedule that included the long-awaited Episodes VII, VIII and IX, with release dates in 2015, 2017 and 2019. This also included the first “anthology” films, slated to fall on the in between years (2016 and 2018) so as not to allow the franchise to lay fallow at any point going forward.
Perhaps, with schedules that are set so far into the future, people did not take notice of exactly when in these years the movies were coming, other than the first two, which were set literally a year apart– December 18, 2015 for Episode VII, The Force Awakens and December 17th, 2016 for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With the Episode VIII: The Last Jedi also hogging a near-or-thereabout December date as well, it was easy to assume that 2019’s Episode IX: The One Without Carrie Fisher would just come along at Christmas, as was the budding family tradition.
But as people might have noticed, from all the way back in 2016, outlets have been citing May 23, 2019 as the release date for Star Wars: Episode IX. Googling the movie’s title has produced that date for months. Looking at the casting dates has pointed to a summer release for the end of the saga.
Star Wars: The Untitled Han Solo Joint also has had a May release date since 2016, suggesting that once Disney knew they have a winning hand at the end of 2015, they decided they could just go sit their movies anywhere they wanted going forward.
And yet! The confirmation today of what we already knew–that the movie would be coming in May, not December–by Disney is being treated as some sort of shocking news, including such headlines as “Episode IX Release Date Moves.” I suppose that it did…up an entire day from the 23rd to the 24th. (As we said…semi-stone.)
I’m sure a lot of people are busy changing their plans as a result. For those who need to plot their lives accordingly, here is the full lineup, including the Marvel joints, the Pixar pieces and the Disney Princess films–both animated and Live Action.