'Star Wars' Movies Will No Longer Debut Once a Year After 'Episode IX'

In a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, covering everything from his love of Walmart to his chummy relationship with Rupert Murdoch, Disney CEO Bob Iger described the future of the Star Wars franchise in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story's flop.

The biggest takeaway is a change to the Star Wars release strategy that has guided Disney and Lucasfilm since 2015's The Force Awakens, which has alternated Star Wars Saga "Episodes" and self-contained Star Wars Story movies, one per year.

"I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast," Iger said, suggesting one Star Wars movie per year will no longer be the norm. "You can expect some slowdown."

Iger went on to describe some of the future projects still in the works. "J.J. is busy making IX," he said, also listing the Game of Thrones creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, as "creative entities" who are "developing sagas of their own."

With the future of Star Wars in flux, it's tempting to read every utterance of Iger's as oracular, so the omission of The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson's mysterious, in-development Star Wars trilogy sounds in jeopardy. But just a few weeks ago, Johnson confirmed on Twitter that his movies are still a go:

Yup. 👊🏻

— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) August 29, 2018

"We are just at the point where we're going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.'s," Iger said, suggesting there's no concrete release calendar beyond Star Wars: Episode IX's Dec. 20, 2019 release date. "I think we're going to be a little more careful about volume and timing."

With Marvel Studios planning three releases in 2019, the Star Wars retrenchment represents a major setback for Disney's other massive shared universe. Though new Star Wars shows, including the animated Star Wars Resistance and Jon Favreau's live-action series, promise the series will be a major player in Disney's streaming plans.