**Update: Disney Chief Bob Iger is now confirming the existence of standalone films to CNBC but won’t confirm characters, stating “I’m going to leave it to Kathy and the LucasFilm team.” He goes on:
“I can confirm to you today that in fact we are working on a few standalone films, Larry Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga. We still plan to make Star Wars 7, 8, and 9 roughly over a six-year period of time, starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period, too.”
So there you go. Yes, there will be standalone films and they’ll be in release during the rollout of the sequel trilogy. Disney’s noncommittal regarding details, but this goes a long way in lending credence to rumors floating about.
When Disney purchased Star Wars and announced their intention to make another trilogy, they were surely looking at Marvel’s approach as a longterm model for success. So it makes sense they’d like to roll some of Lucas’ most enduring characters into standalone features.
We’re never going to get Han Solo: The Movie out of this, though we must never stop beating the drum for Weekend at Wedge Antilles’. AICN is reporting Disney’s intention for a Yoda movie to be released sometime after JJ Abrams’ Episode VII. Actual timetables are unknown though it’s being said that Kathleen Kennedy’s hard at work amassing a slate of steady Star Warsian features ala Marvel and their release patterns. George Lucas, who apparently still has some say in all of this, is floating a Jabba the Hutt film as well.
So, if the rumor proves true, Disney plans to make Empire Strikes Back the Barbershop 2 to Yoda‘s Beauty Shop. It goes without saying that the world needs more Yoda toys. And it’s inspiring to hear that, given the enduring affection fans have for the prequels, Disney and Lucasfilm seem keen to give us more prequels. And to anyone saying “But a Yoda film could be really great!” realize that this is a franchise where filling in the blanks has rarely proven a good thing. Remember 15 years ago when Boba Fett was just a badass bounty hunter instead of a clone with daddy issues and an Australian accent? Exactly.
Even so, it’d be nice to see Disney explore a SW universe beyond the Jedi. Lucas may be on to something with a Hutt film, as a hard-nosed crime pic set in the Star Wars universe sounds like a very nice time indeed.