This month Disney-Lucasfilm gave the geek-world another early Christmas present when they confirmed the rumours that the more movies were in the works. What's more, Episode VIII director Rian Johnson has been asked to create an overall story treatment for the trilogy as well as directing the first instalment. They must be mightily impressed with Johnson's work on The Last Jedi to trust him with creating a whole new, separate, trilogy, before the film has been released and scrutinized.
Disney paid an amazing 4.5 billion dollars for the franchise in 2012. So far the two films alone have raked in a net profit of around 2.6 billion in Box Office sales alone, not to mention the untold millions made from merchandise and 'expanded universe' media such as comics, books and video games. Financially speaking the new trilogy makes complete sense for Disney. There only potential pitfall is a story that disappoints the fan base.
So, what can we expect from these new films. Information so far is limited. This isn't surprising given the release date for the first movie is 2021, but that doesn't mean we can't make an informed guess based on what little we know. The statement says that the trilogy will feature entirely new characters and show a part of the galaxy never explored before. Disney will not risk venturing to far from the tried and tested conventions of the space opera. I think it is safe to assume therefore that lightsabres, the force and a conflict between light and dark will feature in these films.
The question is will Disney and the Lucasfilm story group go back to established 'Legends material' (non-canon material from before the 2012 buyout) to find their story, or will they create something entirely new. Personally, I think the story will take place during the Old Republic era and tell the story of a galaxy wide war between the Sith and the Jedi. This will fulfil both criteria for Disney, the hardcore fans will love the new back-story, references to old material and continuation of the mythology, and the casual fans will get to experience the epic swordsmanship and all the space dogfights they could ever want.
Whatever the future holds for the franchise I for one will be there. First in line to buy tickets on opening day, pre-ordering all the add on books and comics online and generally geeking out with zeal. Is it strange for an adult to care this much for a mythology of good and evil? maybe, but at least I know that my favourite story didn't actual happen and don't build my life around its fables. Role on December 15th and every year after that so long as it contains a new adventure from a Galaxy far, far away....