1997-1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002+
Signs there probably won't be a Sequel Trilogy
First off, if you don't want Vector Prime spoiled for you, leave now!!!!
OK, now that they are gone, we can talk. It's long been a dream of Star Wars fans to see the Classic Trilogy characters in action again in a Sequel Trilogy. The return of Han, Chewie, Leia, Luke, and the droids. Lucas many times even said that the full story consisted of three trilogies or 9 episodes. However, it's looking more and more like it won't happen. Why?
Well, first and most obviously, Lucas himself said he won't do any more. He says he's getting too old and that he'd rather move on to other projects. That is understandable. However, Lucas has been known to say one thing and do another in the past, so many fans, including myself, have hoped a sequel trilogy will still happen.
But recent events in Vector Prime make it clear that Lucas meant what he said.
As you know, Chewbacca dies in Vector Prime. Now many fans have poo-pooed it as non-canon or a cheap ploy and that Lucas would never approve it. Well, fact is that no matter what you think of the novels and comics, Lucasfilm has generally been very careful not to let them tread on territory that Lucas may want to cover in the films. For example, before ROTJ, Marvel Comics wanted to do a story about a second Death Star. LFL said "no way". Only after ROTJ came out did the writers realize why it wasn't approved. Dark Horse could only do something before ANH if it was set thousands of years before it.
Flash to the present day to the Bantam novels. Did you notice how nothing lasting ever happened in them? Characters did not grow or change or die once each book was said and done. Why? Because LFL would not allow it. Why? Because Lucas might want to come back and do the sequel trilogy, and you couldn't have major changes that he could not account for.
Now Del Rey has the book license and within a short amount of time we have Luke married and Chewbacca dead, both of which are factors you'd expect to effect a sequel trilogy. Lucas himself approved these changes (despite the protests of the non-canon fans), and thus the writers for Del Rey have more they can do with the characters. Again, why? Because Lucas is not reserving any of the timeline for a sequel trilogy.
Now I realize many people are going to write in and say "It could still happen!" Well, yes, I suppose it could, but between Lucas saying it won't happen, characters being killed off with full LFL approval, and everything else, a sequel trilogy sure won't be what you might expect. And yes, he could base it on one of the novels that are out now, but do you REALLY think that's something Lucas would want to do? Probably not. A TV show or something might be within the realm of possibility, too (despite Rick McCallum saying it would never happen), but you never know.
We can all still hope, but you might want to alter your expectations.
October 28th, 1999