What Comes After 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'? Why You Shouldn't Expect an 'Episode X'

Critics and audiences alike are divided on Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, which not only garnered some of the worst reviews for a Star Wars movie since the critically maligned Prequel Trilogy, but also saw lower box office returns in its opening weekend than either of the two previous "Saga" entries: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Nevertheless, there's a lot more Star Wars on the horizon, although a great deal of information is, so far, unannounced. Here's what we know is ahead for the series after the concluding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

What Comes After Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? What We Know

There are many announced Star Wars projects ahead, but most of them are coming to TV. Similar to the raft of Marvel Cinematic Universe characters with shows coming to the Disney Plus streaming service, several Star Wars movie characters will soon have series of their own.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Returns

Originally airing between 2008 and 2014, animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will return in 2020 for a 12-episode final season, writing a conclusion to the war epic. Set between movies Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, The Clone Wars followed Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and his padawan, Ahsoka Tano during the conflict between the clone army of the Galactic Republic and the droid army of the Separatists, lead by Count Dooku. Supervising director Dave Filoni—who took on writing, directing and producing duties on The Mandalorianwill return to complete The Clone Wars story.

The final twelve episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will stream on Disney Plus in February 2020.

The Mandalorian Season 2

Nothing is yet known about the second season of The Mandalorian, though the concluding episode—available for streaming December 27—may give us a better idea of what's ahead for the honor-bound bounty hunter. All we can say for sure is that The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau is already filming upcoming episodes.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi Series on Disney Plus

Ewan McGregor will reprise the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus. Lucasfilm

In September, Lucasfilm announced a long-rumored series about Luke Skywalker's first Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Ewan McGregor returning to the role first made famous by the late Alec Guinness. The series will be directed by Deborah Chow, who was also director of some of the most well-received episodes of the first live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian.

The Obi-Wan Kenobi series will be set eight years after the events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, suggesting it will primarily take place on Tatooine, where Obi-Wan lived in exile, watching over Luke Skywalker from a distance. While no plot has yet been revealed for the Obi-Wan series, comics and the TV show Star Wars Rebels have portrayed Kenobi standing up to the Hutt crime syndicate and even fighting a rematch with Darth Maul, offering several possible avenues of exploration for the upcoming streaming series, to be written by Hossein Amini (The Alienist, Drive).

Cassian Andor Series on Disney Plus

Cassian Andor in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Lucasfilm

Obi-Wan Kenobi isn't the only Star Wars character getting his own series. Also coming to Disney Plus is a streaming series following the Rebel spy Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), introduced in the 2016 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Captain Andor will be joined in further espionage adventures by the reprogrammed Imperial security droid K-2SO, with actor Alan Tudyk returning to voice the character. The Cassian Andor series will be executive produced by The Americans writer and producer Stephen Schiff.

Since Rogue One ends with the death of the Rebel spies responsible for stealing the Death Star plans—the original Star Wars opens with the plans in the possession of Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher)—the Andor series will necessarily serve as a prequel to that movie, making the series another entry in the crowded narrative space between the events of Revenge of the Sith and George Lucas' 1977 original.

What Comes After Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Possible Movies

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson and Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill at SXSW in 2018. Photo by Nicola Gell/Getty Images for SXSW

In contrast to the many streaming Star Wars projects coming in 2020 and beyond, little is known about how the movie series will develop now that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has written an end to Emperor Palpatine and the characters showcased throughout the previous nine movies and 42 years.

As it stands now, the next Star Wars movie is expected in theaters December 16, 2022, staking out a substantial break—especially in comparison to the annual Star Wars movie release schedule Disney has maintained since 2015's The Force Awakens—in between The Rise of Skywalker and whatever comes next. Disney announced the 2022 movie in May, alongside two other future Star Wars release dates: December 20, 2024, and December 18, 2026.

But the nature of those movies is not yet known. It was previously widely presumed that the 2022 Star Wars movie was most likely the first in a trilogy to be written by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, but the duo has since split with Lucasfilm.

In November, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had a director lined up for the 2022 Star Wars movie, but the announcement of his or her name isn't expected until January 2020.

Two other names are also attached to future Star Wars projects: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who was announced to be producing a Star Wars movie in September. Those projects are still untitled, with no plot yet revealed, but a December interview with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy suggests the future of Star Wars won't follow directly from The Rise of Skywalker.

"It's a really important transition for Star Wars," Kennedy told The Los Angeles Times, describing what comes next. "What we've been focused on these last five or six years is finishing that family saga around the Skywalkers. Now is the time to start thinking about how to segue into something new and different."

In other words, don't expect a Star Wars: Episode X, even if Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron might still pop up in future series entries.

"I love that world and I love the notion of exploring new people and new places in that universe, but that's all that can be said for now," Feige told The Hollywood Reporter in November.

As for Johnson, the Knives Out director was once rumored to be planning an entirely new Star Wars trilogy, with the intention of writing and directing the first one himself. But in a subsequent interview with Variety, he suggested the cinematic future of Star Wars may still be in considerable flux. Or, at least, that previous announcement and rumors shouldn't be seen as current when it comes to the future of Star Wars.

"I'm still talking to Lucasfilm. They haven't announced anything," Johnson told Variety in November. "Every single day there's a new thing. Until it's up on StarWars.com, don't believe it."