They’re working on that next one. The plan is apparently to have a whole new script that ignores all the novels out there and to do a story with the actors of the original trilogy aged a ways, blah blah.
It makes sense, really. The first three movies (timeline-wise, not release-wise) were about Anakin, the next three about his kids, the next three seemingly going to be about his grandkids. That’s all well and good, though it does make you wonder how they’re going to handle a villain.
There’s a hell of a lot of outcry from the fanbase that the novels written decades ago aren’t being used. And part of the reason that there’s an outcry is that it’s definitely going to make the timeline crap a great deal more confusing. I’m not too bothered by it personally, though I think they’re missing some great opportunities there to at least cherry-pick a few bits and pieces that could be redone in a coherent way. Don’t get me wrong, they couldn’t really do movies based fully on the novels… many of the novels were total shit (“Children of the Jedi” and “The Crystal Star” remain a couple of the worst books I’ve read in my life).
But it’s not like they couldn’t work with it. The Thrawn Trilogy, the first officially approved novels, were quite good, although imperfect. With careful updating the overall premise could fit into a new series of novels nicely. And also, Michael Fassbender would be an epic Thrawn, for what that’s worth. Still, that’s not at all their intention. They want to overwrite everything that was out there, and that’s their call to make. I hope it lives up to it.
With that said, I definitely think they’re missing a trick in that they still want to stick to the Skywalker/Solo families for these movies. They did already announced that they want to do other movies outside of the storyline, which is good… it’s a freaking huge universe with millions of tales to be told… but come on, there’s no point in sticking with them at all at this point. The original actors could manage cameos at best, and if you’re just tying the new movies to them for the sake of sticking with familiar characters, why bother?
Oh well. There will be more, and with luck, a new and different kind of quality will go into them with different people at the helm. And I guess that’s basically a good thing.