‘Star Wars’: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

April 17, 2013 | 2:38 p.m.
georgelucas Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

There are few film franchises that can claim to have affected pop culture as profoundly as "Star Wars," the brainchild of George Lucas. A new "Star Wars" trilogy is destined for theaters, but here's a look back at the franchise's big-screen offerings over the years. Click through the gallery. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)

star wars Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977)
On the day "Star Wars" thundered into theaters on May 25, 1977, the film's producer Gary Kurtz appeared on a radio call-in show. Kurtz recalled: "This guy, this caller, was really enthusiastic and talking about the movie in really deep detail. ... I said, 'You know a lot abut the film.' He said, 'Yeah, yeah, I've seen it four times already.' And that was opening day. I knew something was happening." (Lucasfilm)

empirestrikesback Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

"Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
The second "Star Wars" film, the most critically revered film in the franchise, was directed by Irvin Kershner. "I really knocked myself out," Kershner said. "I was able to go deeper into the characterization. I was doing the second act of a three-act play, or the second movement of a symphony. That's always the slower movement. I could not have a grand climax, I had to leave things ambiguous. My big climax came at the beginning of the film, with the battle in the snow, then I told the story of the people." (Lucasfilm)

returnofthejedi Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

"Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983)
The original series came to a close with "Return of the Jedi" -- a welcome ending for Lucas, who said at the time, "There hasn't really been one day in the last 10 years that I haven't had to wake up in the morning and say, 'God, I've got to worry about this movie. ... If I had to do it all over again, I'd have to think about it, especially if I knew what I was going to have to give up in order to get it."

star wars menace1 Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

"Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999)
Sixteen years after the original trilogy wrapped up, "The Phantom Menace" began a new prequel trilogy based on Darth Vader's origin story. "Phantom Menace," which introduced new characters like Darth Maul (above right) and the much-maligned Jar Jar Binks, marked the first time a fully digital movie was shown to the public. It was the only "Star Wars" film to earn more than $1 billion at the box office. (Lucasfilm)

attackoftheclones Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

"Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002)
Anakin Skywalker's transformation from a precocious, pod-racing kid to the ultimate villain Darth Vader continued in "Attack of the Clones," in which Hayden Christensen portrayed the sullen young Jedi, and Natalie Portman played his lady-love, Padme. (Lucasfilm)

revengeofthesith2 Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

"Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005)
"Revenge of the Sith" opened 28 years after the original "Star Wars" and was the first to receive a PG-13 rating, due to several violent scenes as Anakin turns to the Dark Side. "I had to turn him into a monster," Lucas said at the time. "It's a tough story. You can't make a guy evil without having him do evil things." (Lucasfilm)

clonewars Star Wars: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (2008)
The Star Wars universe found its way to the big screen again in 2008, albeit in animated form. "The Clone Wars" centered on the wartime tales of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and featured Padme Amidala, Mace Windu, Count Dooku and other characters from the prequel trilogy. The film paved the way for the award-winning cartoon series of the same name. "I am amazed at how it continues," Lucas said at the time. "It’s not something I expected to happen, and not something we spend a lot of time thinking about trying to expand. This was created because I wanted to stimulate kids' imaginations, inspire them to be creative and to think outside the box." (Lucasfilm)

The Force is strong with Alan Horn.

At CinemaCon on Wednesday, the Walt Disney Studios chairman said the company plans to release three “Star Wars” films by the end of the decade — one in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

In between those movies, “we expect to have pictures derived from that universe,” Horn said, indicating that spinoff movies should be expected in 2016 and 2018 as well.

The news comes six months after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in a surprise deal for $4.05 billion.

At the time of that deal in October, the company said it planned to release a seventh live-action “Star Wars” movie in 2015.

It has since been announced that J.J. Abrams will direct that film, while Oscar winner Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3”) has been tapped to write the screenplay.

PHOTOS: J.J. Abrams career

“Star Wars: Episode VII” will be released in summer 2015, Horn said, and will be followed by the next two films alternating every other year.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn speaks at  CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Assn. of Theatre Owners, on Wednesday in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn speaks at CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Assn. of Theatre Owners, on Wednesday in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote “The Empire Strikes Back” and with George Lucas penned the script for “Return of the Jedi,” and Simon Kinberg have been announced as the screenwriters of the spinoff films.

“I’m trying to start fresh,” Kasdan told Hero Complex in an interview earlier this year. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.”

PHOTOS: ‘Star Wars’ fans become Jedi padawans at Lightsaber school

At CinemaCon, Horn said Lucasfilm is “consistent with the family imprimatur” of Disney, describing a recent visit to Lucasfilm’s Northern California campus as idyllic.

“There’s an 8-foot statue of Yoda, and you walk down the hall and they say ‘May the force be with you,’ ” Horn said, evoking laughter from the crowd of movie theater owners. “And I said, ‘And with you, my brother.’ Because what do you say?”

— Amy Kaufman reporting from Las Vegas

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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19 Responses to ‘Star Wars’: Disney chief promises movies every year starting in 2015

  1. sally says:

    best idea

  2. JohnZ52 says:

    Horn's statement of yearly release of a "Star Wars" movie is nothing short of a threat to the mental well being of film goers. The dumbing down of American audiences is obviously going to continue through 2019. Don't come up with something new and innovative, just recycle the same old garbage from the 70's. Can't wait for that musical film version of "The Love Boat."

    • Jmac says:

      If you were a fan, you would have known there were 9 movies intended for production.

      • JohnZ52 says:

        Obviously I am not a fan and don;t care to be dumbed down by an FX laden movie with a storyline thinner than the paper it was printed on.

      • Bryan says:

        Ha! Someone only watched the 3 prequels. The main allure of Star Wars is the extreme complexity of the universe and the storylines in it. The main mark against the 3 prequels are that they didn't portray that. Basically it's your own ignorance of the majority of the works that lead to your conclusions, yet you're accusing others of being "dumbed down".

      • Twinmum says:

        So, this thread, you are on, why?!?! (Said as would Yoda…though not being a fan you probably wouldn't know that).

        Be nice or go away! :-)

      • JohnF says:

        You talk about Star Wars fandom like it's a cult with a code of "purity" to keep out doubters. Get over yourself.

    • K.E. says:

      Yes. Because Hollywood never remade movies before the 1990s.

      Unless you count:
      Scarface (same)
      The Wizard of Oz (same)
      A Christmas Carol (same)
      A Fistful of Dollars (Yojimbo)
      Magnificent Seven (Seven Samurai)
      The Man Who Knew Too Much (same)
      The Thing (same)
      Dracula (same, and I'm not talking about the Coppola flick. The Bella Lugosi Dracula wasn't original, either)
      The Last House on the Left (and I'm not talking about the recent remake, but the 1972 version which was a remake of a 1960 Bergman film The Virgin Spring)
      The Maltese Falcon (same)
      Never Say Never Again (Thunderball)
      Heat (L.A. Takedown)
      Rio Lobo (Rio Bravo)
      Three Men and a Baby (same, French film)
      Cape Fear (same)
      Down and Out in Beverly Hills (Saved From Drowning)
      Heaven Can Wait (Here Comes Mr. Jordan)
      Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Bedtime Story)
      Little Shop of Horrors (same)
      The Fly (same)
      Assault on Precinct 13 (the John Carpenter original was actually just a repackaged Night of the Living Dead)
      The Bad Seed (same)
      Blame it on Rio (un moment d'egarement)
      The Champ (same)
      M (same)

      I could go on. The point is that remakes have existed since the dawn of cinema. This is not a recent thing. Some of the ones I listed above are remakes of 1920s films done in the 1940s, or 1930s films done in the 1950s. The "Classics" you cling to aren't the originals, either.

      And like classics such as A Fistful of Dollars and The Magnificent Seven, Star Wars (the first one) was a remake of a a Japanese classic; In this case, The Hidden Fortress.

      And then we could get into how every story, every movie, every tale is just a remake of older stories that have existed since humankind developed communication skills.

      ALL that which you embrace as "new and innovative" is just as much a rehash of the past as that which you deride as dumb, recycled garbage.

      But please, go on about how it was so much better when you were young and everything was "original". We're dying to hear how much better life was before you lost your perspective.

      • Omniscient says:

        Archetype: A universally understood symbol, term, statement, or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated. Archetypes are often used in myths and storytelling across different cultures.

        If you went to high school you would have learned this word. I cannot understand how you can perceive this the continuation of a story-line to be "garbage."

        In fact innovation has made the stories that are retold oft'times better. Technology creates new ways to display emotion with camera angles, animation, music, etc…

        If you truly feel like any of this is garbage feel free to stop listening or watching any movie ever because they always reach back to the typical archetypes of The Hero, The Damsel in Distress, The Trickster and so on and so forth.

      • John W. says:

        Reread that last paragraph of yours and tell me how the over-political prequels followed any of that Hero business. The original three? Of course.

        By the way, if you want your otherwise thoughtfully considered comments to be read in their entirety, you might want to consider dispensing with the unnecessary juvenile histrionics: "If you went to high school, you would have learned…" I stopped reading after that; there's enough of that kind of petty playground nonsense elsewhere on the internet.

      • twinmum says:

        If you stopped reading after that, how could you possibly have cited "The last paragraph?" Sorry I just couldn't resist!

        C'mon people…were talking about fiction here…why are we getting so judgmental?

        Since this thread was written 105 weeks ago…no one will see it anyway…

      • Mark says:

        I saw it. Good points!

  3. John W. says:

    A sad amen, brother.

  4. jsketcham says:

    JZ52, that ‘Love Boat’ thing is in development. It is set in WWII, and titled ‘Das Love U-Boat’. Tag line- ‘We have ways of making you fall in love’.

  5. guest says:

    Excuse me, but why am I supposed to care? I don't go to Disney-anything any more.

  6. Akot says:

    Holy disposable stink fest. They're going to run this once iconic, already scarred franchise into the ground. The talent and passion needed to pull off such a feat successfully simply doesn't exist in their mega corporate universe. Any actors who are actually human will probably look airbrushed to perfection, straight off the set of Twilight with matching dialog to boot. Not the least excited about this reboot.

  7. Teddy says:

    My sister used my email address. -_-

    That said, I agree with her. The sequel deserves a chance, as long as Robert Pattinson's sparkles stays far away from the movie set.

  8. @66michaelr says:

    it deserves a chance, the last 3 movies were terrible and really did the original 3 no favors.hopefully using the original actors will bring some credibility back,

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