Is Lucasfilm giving Star Wars to Taika Waititi? The director seems insecure

As the director travels the ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ press circuit, he suggests an opportunity where his ‘Star Wars’ movie was never made. That would be a huge failure for the life of the franchise.

DFree / Shutterstock

By Brad Gullickson Published on July 1, 2022

Star Wars explained is our ongoing series where we delve into the latest Star Wars shows, movies, trailers and news stories to predict the future of the franchise. This entry explores the current never-ending Star Wars slate and how Taika Waititi might save it.

A strange feeling came over me last night. I was watching the new one middle class Cristela Alonzo’s Netflix special. She opens her set and laments our current pandemic hellscape: “Covid has become like… Star Wars† A new one comes out every few months. Oh man, Omicron is out? I’m not done seeing yet The Mandalorian yet!”

The joke is a good one, and it’s deadly. The joke is also an insane premise for a child growing up during the long dry spell between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace† In the early 1990s, we had leftovers fueling our fandom — a novel here, a comic book there. The atmosphere in those stories didn’t always match what we knew about the movies, but we agreed. They were definitely better than those silent Ewok movies or the… Star Wars Holiday Special

Now Disney wants to keep us fat Star WarsBoba Fett’s book leads to obiWan Kenobicclear the way for Andorra and The Bad Party† In between shows, we have tons of comics pumping out from Marvel and Dark Horse Comics. Plus the games, the theme parks, the toys. Still we are waiting for the next one Star Wars movie, and as much as I love everything else, Star Wars is primarily a movie entertainment in my head.

Three possible dates are currently planned Star Wars movies:

  • Dec 22, 2023
  • Dec 19, 2025
  • December 17, 2027

At one point, the Patty Jenkins Rogue Squadron film would slide to that first position. The movie is still in the books, but the news surrounding it is getting quieter and quieter. Let’s not even talk about Rian Johnson’s sequel trilogy. Is JD Dillard still attached to a movie? Could be? It’s not talked about much either.

The most noise at the moment about a new one Star Wars film rests with Taika Waititi† He made a bit of a stir a few weeks ago, telling Games Radar that his… Star Wars adventure would finally break free from the Skywalker Saga. As he said, “For the… Star Wars universe to expand, it must expand. I guess I don’t feel like the Star Wars universe that makes a movie where everyone thinks, ‘Oh great, those are the blueprints of the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.’”

Waititi’s statement caused either joy or concern, depending on where your fandom rests. the primary Star Wars story can’t escape the Skywalkers; they have invaded Rogue OneThe Mandalorianand Boba Fett’s book† Just when you think Lucasfilm is ready to pull out of their Chosen One mythology, they fall right back into it. Waititi promises something completely new and echoes how we older folks saw the franchise in the 1990s.

The Expanded Universe was and still is a huge playground where anything can happen. There you will find Jedi stories, bounty hunters stories, Stormtrooper stories, etc. with the Skywalkers story complete, Star Wars can work like the western or the noir. It’s a dressing to drape your story, an atmosphere to sit inside.

However, while Waititi is doing the rounds promoting Thorlove and thunder, he has also found a way to burst our bubble. In an interview with The New York Times, the director said, “I’m trying to… Star Wars idea at the moment. I’ll have to see how that goes because once I submit it, that can determine when it’s made and even if it’s made.”

Star Wars movies are anything but certain right now. The sequel trilogy delivered a box office of diminishing returns, but if we are to believe other filmmakers, the real failure was SoloA Star Wars Story† You may have noticed that screenwriter Stuart Beattie credits several ‘Story By’ credits on the obiWan Kenya series. He didn’t work on that show, but he did work on the original proposed trilogy that obiWan Kenya became.

Speaking to The Direct, Beattie said, “It was… Solo that changed the direction of the system…it hadn’t made much money. It certainly crushed us. Devastated, completely broken. But that’s the thing, you know, highs and lows… I’m glad the show was made. I’m proud of my story… I’m glad all my characters got through it, and I’m glad I got credit for it. I wish they could have made my movies.”

The Mandalorian gave Lucasfilm a comfortable model post-The Rise of Skywalker† Disney+ is a safe platform and they play it safe. So far, every show they’ve delivered has relied heavily on nostalgia, making sure to preserve the tradition and not upset fan feathers. Well we are talking Star Warsthere are always feathers to be ruffled, and the response to obiWan Kenya is proof of that.

Shows like The Clone Wars and rebels showed that you can create new paths, especially new emotional grounds when you look at the franchise in reverse. “Prequel” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. That said, the more Lucasfilm re-examines the previously established canon, the more the walls start to creep in. We are quickly running out of space in the story, with the middle section dominating the beginning and end of the Skywalker Saga. That’s why we need one more saga or many other sagas.

I would absolutely love it if Taika Waititi were given the keys to a kingdom far away from Tatooine, somewhere along the Outer, Outer Rim. His perceived hesitation in the New York Times interview, however, gives a pause. Just as Boba Fett’s book become one Mandalorian side quest, and obiWan Kenya closing like a mirror to the battles fought in Revenge of the SithA new hopeand Return of the Jedi

Seeing what Waititi can do in the Marvel Cinematic Universe suggests a possible story and tonal departure for Star Wars† We accepted ThorRagnarokbut I worry that if we don’t accept too Thor love and thunder (which, by the way, deviates even further from the usual Marvel Studios tone), then an often skittish Lucasfilm could throw it away.

The Last Jedi mortal remains Star Wars‘ most adventurous departure from the expected, and the studio walked away from it because some viewers got too loud online. Here’s the thing though. They’ve now spoon-fed us that those dissenters were supposedly screaming for, and that sound has never faded. Psst, that will never happen.

Star Wars is just too big. Whatever they come up with, some of the public will hate it and spew their poison online. Lucasfilm just has to deal. Taika Waititi is absolutely right. Should Star Wars keep serving us Millenium Falcon blueprints and long-lost Skywalker relatives, then the story will eventually collapse on its own. There will be no room for maneuver.

More and more people are starting to see it Star Wars as Cristela Alonzo sees it, as a virus. It’s a funny joke today, but if Lucasfilm isn’t careful, the masses will crave inoculation. The franchise needs some invigorating unpredictability and a bit of craziness. Taika Waititi can deliver.

Related Topics: Star Wars, Star Wars Explained

Brad Gullickson is a weekly columnist for Film School Rejects and senior curator for One Perfect Shot. When not talking about movies here, he roams comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Look him up on Twitter: @MouthDork† (he/him)