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For a while, the Star Wars franchise seemed a little adrift in the depths of space. After waiting 16 years between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, then 10 years between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens, Disney is now inundating us with a whole galaxy of Star Wars films. While we still have Episode VIII and Episode IX to go, and a Han Solo solo, could the future of the franchise hold yet more anthology films?
When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is released, it will either set the spin-off films in great stead, or fire a proton torpedo into the Death Star exhaust. If the formula works, prepare for a whole library of anthology films — who knows, we could even get that long-mooted Boba Fett film.
Mark My Words
Wading in on the issue of whether the spin-offs will be make or break for Star Wars is the franchise's golden boy Mark Hamill. Appearing in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo as Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens, Hamill will have a much bigger part in Episode VIII, but thinks that the spin-offs are in a better place than the main series:
"They have a real advantage being able to go in and do a one-off story because you don’t have to follow the trilogy model of a three-act play. They can really get it done, get off, and leave the audience wanting more. They have a chance to make it their own identity. This one looks like a really gritty World War II film,”
He may be jumping the lightsaber slightly though. For now at least, the anthology films are more confined than the "Episode" series by what comes after them. Rogue One has to lead to the events just prior to A New Hope, while the Han Solo film will focus on a young smuggler before his days of Leia. This means that both films can't exactly go and kill Han off, unlike a certain Force Awakens definitely did.
However, Hamill is right, the anthology films aren't tied into a three-picture saga, and with Rogue One confirming that there won't be a Rogue Two, they could kill off anyone and everyone. More importantly though, the ever expanding universe of anthology and main series films allows for an exciting crossover of characters and those all important Easter Egg cameos. Either way, expect the wars of Star Wars to go on and on until C-3PO is well and truly rusted.