If Disney and Lucasfilm continue to develop more Star Wars movies, will they release two movies per year? When the Mouse House had acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, they had announced plans to release one Star Wars movie per year; alternating between core saga episodes and anthology movies, which had meant that the mainline Star Wars installments will release every two years. For those that do not know, all 3 installments in George Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy released three years apart, with every chapter in the filmmaker’s prequel trilogy releasing three years apart.
The idea of having a Star Wars movie release every year was welcomed by fans but it presented many obstacles for the studio. In doing so, they risked oversaturating the market and as cannibalizing their movies. That is why Lucasfilm opted not to release the first teaser trailer for Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story until after J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens finished its theatrical run and released on home video. Otherwise, casual moviegoers would have confused Rogue One with The Force Awakens if the studio chose to market the movie with Abrams’ film. And Lucasfilm did the same thing with Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.
Lucasfilm had announced plans to develop a new Star Wars trilogy with Johnson that will explore new territories in the Star Wars galaxy and go beyond the Skywalker saga, which may mean that Johnson plans on taking the franchise away from the Galactic Civil War and the First Order/Resistance. If that is the direction they plan to take, they may theoretically release more than one Star Wars movie per year without taking market share from their other films.
At the moment, Lucasfilm announced Star Wars movies through 2019, with the currently-untitled 2020 anthology movie seemingly hanging in limbo. Whereas most of the movies released and will release in December of their respective years, Ron Howard’s Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is releasing in May 2018, only a few months after The Last Jedi. If the studio’s marketing campaign and the film are proven successful, Lucasfilm may put out more than one Star Wars movie a year: one in the summer and one in the winter.
It seems like Disney is focused on making more Star Wars movies, but they have a lot of projects to handle now. In addition to releasing one Star Wars movie per year, they have upped their distribution of Marvel Studios’ movies from two movies per year to three, not to mention the lineup of animated movies from Disney Animation and Pixar Animation and the live-action and CGI remakes and re-imaginings of fantasy stories. The Mouse House may not just be concerned with cannibalizing other Star Wars movies but also affecting the distribution for other properties as well.