While J.J. Abrams isn't directing any of the upcoming Star Wars movies, he will still be involved as a producer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and, presumably, on Star Wars: Episode IX. The filmmaker wasn't listed as a producer on the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and it is unclear if he is producing the Han Solo spin-off that just started shooting. But the filmmaker and producer revealed in a recent interview that he's excited for the future of the franchise. Here's what he had to say about the script for the Han Solo spin-off.
"I can tell you it is an amazing script and the cast is obviously extraordinary."
Production started just a few days ago on Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Woody Harrelson as Han Solo's mentor Garris Shrike, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca and Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in unspecified roles. While little has been revealed about the story, the Han Solo spin-off is set before the events of A New Hope, providing fans with an origin story for this beloved scoundrel. When asked about the future of this franchise in his interview with Fox News, J.J. Abrams had this to say.
"I think it is a thrill to be a part of something that meant so much to me as a kid and to be part of allowing it to mean so much for kids now. It is fun to see it live on in various forms and ways even five years ago I would have never imagined it would have continued and knowing what is coming up is even more exciting."
Aside from Star Wars: The Last Jedi hitting theaters in December, fans have a lot more to celebrate this year, since it marks the 40th Anniversary of the movie that started it all, A New Hope. LucasFilm recently announced this 40th Anniversary celebration will kick off at Star Wars Celebration which runs from April 13 through April 16 in Orlando, Florida this year. There have also been recent rumors that the studio will finally release the un-altered theatrical editions of the original Star Wars trilogy, which haven't been made available in high-definition yet. That hasn't been confirmed, but it's possible that announcement may be made at Star Wars Celebration.
After Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters in December, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit theaters on May 25, 2018, which marks the exact 41st anniversary of A New Hope hitting theaters. There has been rumors that LucasFilm will eventually push the release date into December, to fall in line with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but that has yet to be confirmed. Before The Force Awakens hit theaters, it was always an unspoken tradition that every Star Wars movie open in May, but now that Disney has taken over, all of the movies have arrived in December, so it will be interesting to see if Disney reverts back to the old LucasFilm tradition.