Rogue One co-writer Gary Whitta recently spoke with SHH while promoting the film’s home video release. When Whitta was asked about the franchise leaving legacy characters behind, he advised he sees it as likely.
“I think you’ve already seen us get 90% of the way there with Rogue One,” he said. “Yes you see Leia, yes you see the Death Star and Vader, because those are elements of that story and they belong there, you can’t tell that story without those characters. But for the most part, 90% of that story is completely new characters. Completely new planets and places you’ve never seen before. It’s a Star Wars movie with no Jedi! You don’t see a lightsaber once until Vader pops it out at the end. It doesn’t have any spirituality or mysticism… a little bit through Donnie’s character, but it’s very different DNA to the Star Wars films that have come before it. I really like the fact that we tried to do something different. The next spin-off is ‘Han Solo,’ that’s another familiar character, but I think increasingly you’re going to see… One of the thing things we really want to do at Lucasfilm is create a universe and not keep relying on old legacy characters. We’ve got Rey and Finn and Kylo Ren, they’ve already introduced a new generation of characters. Whatever kind of Star Wars films they’re making 10 or 20 years from now, I don’t think they’re going to be relying on the same legacy story elements as we have in the past.”
Whitta added as a caveat, “I obviously have no idea what their plans are for the franchise. I did my small piece of it, but it makes sense to me that you don’t want to keep telling the same story over and over again. You want to tell new stories.”