With Star Wars: The Force Awakens raking in more than $2B at the box office, the quarterly Disney earnings call was probably a more spirited event than usual. Everybody likes good news, right? Disney CEO Bob Iger used the meeting to not only boast about the prior film's successes, but to also reveal that Star Wars: Episode VIII had officially begun shooting, and that 'Episode IX' was getting underway, too.
“Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun.”
Looper and The Brothers Bloom director Rian Johnson is at the helm for this next chapter, but there aren't many details beyond that. The full cast is expected to return (with one obvious exception) and there should be some new faces that have not been revealed yet.
As for 'Episode IX', that one will be directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), and it's a little interesting that production is beginning so early. It's not like Lucasfilm has a lot of time to relax with Iger confirming the Han Solo spinoff for May 2018, which will be the second standalone film after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which opens this December.