In the wake of the disappointing launch of Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm may have decided to dial back its plans for stand-alone Star Wars films and concentrate on the main sequence trilogy helmed by Rian Johnson, according to Collider. If the reports are true, the previously rumored Obi-Wan and Boba Fett films were in preproduction but have now been frozen in carbonite, with their production staff moving on to other projects for the time being.
To be clear, neither of these projects would not even have been far enough along to have working titles, or scripts. They were not fully realized film productions. They were in preproduction, which means mostly people tossing ideas back and forth in conference calls, working out thumbnail budgets, talking to agents, and going over story ideas while nursing cups of cafe mocha at Starbucks.
Solo has made $339.5 million in four weeks worldwide since its launch on Memorial Day weekend, and held the #1 spot worldwide for two weeks (even besting Deadpool 2 for one of those weeks). As films go, this is a pretty good pile of cash. It does not, however, measure up to the other Star Wars movie to date. Rogue One, for example had made $485 million by this same point in its trajectory. To put this in perspective, Solo was only a “flop” because it did not measure up to the normally impossible benchmarks set by other Star Wars films.
The film was plagued by massive reshoots, swapping out the directorial team midway through, and was getting mixed reviews from professional reviewers and fans alike. Rogue One had also needed significant reshoots covering 20 to 30 scenes. Reshoots are surprisingly common, but in the case of these two Star Wars spinoffs, they were heavier than usual as Disney stumbles around a bit trying to get a handle on the production quality of these stand-alone films.
Episode IX is still happening, of course. Beyond that, Lucasfilm has officially announced development on a new Star Wars trilogy focused on new characters from The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson, which is expected to conclude the story of Rey that began with The Force Awakens. There is also a new series of films written by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weissm and these projects are unaffected by the supposed paused spinoffs.
Are the cancellation rumors true?
Watch this space.