There may be some kind of time jump between the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the upcoming Star Wars Episode 9, at least according to hints offered by John Boyega.
The actor, who plays Finn in the new movies, made his comments in an interview with Yahoo:
“I can’t wait to start shooting the next and final leg of the franchise,” he said. “The first step is growing out my hair, so you can wait for the trailer to see why.”
Obviously, a bit of time must pass in-universe for Finn’s hair to be noticeably longer. His comment about the trailer implies there may be even more to the story; will the jump be more than fans might have expected?
The Last Jedi took place immediately after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but that was a break from the series’ usual practice; every other film had a time jump in between them, usually of only a few years within the same “trilogy,” and a whole generation from one trilogy to another.
Here, however, the time jump may have a greater purpose: allowing the moviemakers to deal with the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, who played Princess-turned-General Leia. Fisher died in late 2016, after having already finished filming for The Last Jedi, but that movie ends with her character still alive, and the creators have already clarified that they have no plans to recast her.
Presumably, Leia will be said to have died off-screen, and a bigger time skip will allow that to seem more natural. Alternatively, it could be used to explain her absence in another way if the powers that be wants to keep the character alive for later media in the Star Wars franchise.
Star Wars Episode 9 is currently unnamed, but is expected in theaters on Dec 20, 2019.