Here's what's coming up in the future for the Star Wars franchise

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released in November.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

In case you haven't heard, Lucasfilm is now under a certain Walt Disney Studios, which has big, big plans for the franchise, which include new films, new TV shows, new comic books, and even a Star Wars Theme Park.

Here's a roundup of what we know is coming in the near future for the Star Wars franchise.

Films

One of the first things Disney did when they acquired Lucasfilm was announce new Star Wars movies - not just continuing the core "Episodes", but also having stand-alone "Anthology" films that will be part of the overall canon.

The opening salvo was fired with 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and last year saw the release of the first standalone film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, both of which raked in over US$1bil (S$1.4 billion) at the box office.

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This year, the hype has already started for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released in December.

Moving forward, we still have the yet untitled Episode IX due in 2019, as well as two more untitled Anthology films - one focusing on a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) due next year, and another one in 2020.

TV

If you haven't been watching the Star Wars Rebels animated series, you're seriously missing out on one of the best Star Wars shows to date.

Set in the early days of the Galactic Rebellion, the show revolves around Ezra Bridger, a young boy from Lothal who joins a small band of Rebels that includes a former Jedi named Kanan.

The show is three seasons in, and each season has thrown up surprises, Easter eggs and plenty of tie-ins to the existing Star Wars canon, while including some new ones of its own as well.

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher dies aged 60

  • Carrie Fisher, who rose to fame as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films and later endured drug addiction and stormy romances with show business heavyweights, died on Tuesday (Dec 27), her daughter said through a family spokesman.
  • Fisher, the daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher, who died in 2010, had been in England shooting the third season of the British sitcom Catastrophe. She suffered a heart attack during a flight on Friday from London to Los Angeles. She was met by paramedics and rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
  • Fisher started her showbiz life in 1989 hit film When Harry Met Sally, as a memorable supporting role. Summing up the showbiz legacy she expected to leave behind in her 2011 memoir "Shockaholic," Fisher wrote in self-deprecating style: "What you'll have of me after I journey to that great Death Star in the sky is an extremely accomplished daughter, a few books, and a picture of a stern-looking girl wearing some kind of metal bikini lounging on a giant drooling squid, behind a newscaster informing you of the passing of Princess Leia after a long battle with her head."
  • But her life was also mired at times in substance abuse, mental illness and tumultuous romances with other entertainment figures, all of which he laid bare in her books, interviews and a one-woman stage show titled "Wishful Drinking."
  • Fisher's friend and former Star Wars' co-star Mark Hamill said in a tweet: "No words. #Devastated"
  • Her death came a month after the actress and author made headlines by disclosing that she had a three-month love affair with her Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford (extreme right) 40 years ago.
  • "It was so intense," Fisher told People. "It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend."
  • Shortly after news of her death was made public, her dog Gary, who has his own Twitter account, said goodbye: "Saddest tweets to tweet. Mommy is gone. I love you @carrieffisher."
  • Fisher wrote her bestselling novel, Postcards from the Edge, about a drug-abusing actress forced to move back in with her mother. She later adapted the book into a film that starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

Rebels' fourth and final season will air later this year, and should see it tie-in nicely with the events of Rogue One, which had blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos from one of its characters and the main spacecraft, The Ghost.

In July, Star Wars fans can also look forward to Star Wars: Forces Of Destiny, a 16-episode animated miniseries comprising shorts that focus on various characters throughout the canon, including Daisy Ridley's Rey and Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) from The Force Awakens and Rogue One's Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), with the original actors from the movies voicing their animated counterparts as well.

Comics

Since Marvel (which is also owned by Disney, by the way) took back the Star Wars comic book licence from Dark Horse Comics in 2015, the publisher has not been resting on its laurels.

It has published about 15 titles so far; some, like the core Star Wars and the Star Wars: Darth Vader titles are ongoing series, while there have also been mini-series focusing on the solo adventures of the likes of Princess Leia, Poe Dameron, Lando Calrissian and even Chewbacca.

Videogames

If you kept a close eye on the recent Star Wars Celebration event in the United States, you would have heard that there will be a new Star Wars: Battlefront II video game coming soon, with gamers getting excited over the fact that there will be a full single-player campaign in the game, unlike its predecessor.

The game will also span three eras of the Star Wars canon, beginning with the prequels, the original trilogy, as well as the modern trilogy.

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