Since Disney bought Lucasfilm on October 2012, there has been a slew of exciting news about how far Disney plans to expand the Star Wars franchise.
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just a week away, it is the perfect time to look back at all of the new developments that have been in the works during the past three years.
Disney and Lucasfilm have announced the new Star Wars films that will be released every year until 2019. The highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be out in theaters on December 18.
On December 16, 2016, audiences can expect to see the first Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One in theaters.
Not much is known about Rogue One yet except that it will take place before Star Wars: A New Hope and will be about a band of rebel soldiers and bounty hunters trying to steal plans from the original Death Star.
A list of the cast members has also been announced for the film with Oscar-nominated actress Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything) in a leading role.
Star Wars: Episode VIII, a spin-off movie about the origins of Han Solo, and Star Wars: Episode IX are slated to be released in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.
In August 2015, Disney announced a Star Wars-themed expansion to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland in California. Construction of the new 14-acre land will begin next year.
It will feature two new attractions: one that allows guests to take the Millenium Falcon on a special mission and another that puts guests in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and First Order troops.
In the meantime, on December 1 of this year, Disney’s Hollywood Studies unveiled new Star Wars experiences to curb fans’ enthusiasm while they await the construction of the brand-new expansion.
This includes the addition of a new adventure experience to the Star Tours ride inspired by The Force Awakens as well as a Star Wars Launch Bay that will show visitors behind-the-scenes footage of the films and allow them to take pictures with Chewbacca and Darth Vader.
On September 4, Disney released new Star Wars toys based on the upcoming film.
These included a remote-controlled BB-8 droid, new LEGO sets, figurines of new and returning characters and spaceships, lightsabers (including Kylo Ren’s three-bladed lightsaber), and many more memorobilia that both young and old Star Wars fans will be yearning for this holiday season.
All these new additions to the franchise will give Star Wars fans a reason to be excited for a few years to come.