With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker released in theaters it seems worth asking: What is the next Star Wars movie? Disney has announced huge plans for Star Wars shows on their Disney+ platform, where The Mandalorian is already earning rave reviews. Meanwhile the company is promoting their new Star Wars theme park, Galaxy’s Edge, heavily. Yet you may not know what’s next for their Star Wars movie plans. What come after The Rise of Skywalker?
WHEN THE NEXT STAR WARS MOVIE WILL BE RELEASED
Disney has already announced release dates for its next iteration of Star Wars, but that announcement was made a few months before Bob Iger’s prediction that it’ll be a “few years”. But initially Disney has announced three release dates for the next Star Wars movies: December 16, 2022, December 18, 2024, and December 18, 2026.
Now those dates have been scrapped due to shifting scheduled from the COVID pandemic. Instead, the next Star Wars movies will release on December 22, 2023, December 19, 2025, and December 17, 2027. It’s going to be a very very long wait.
BRINGING BACK THE OTHER BEN
There’s little question among most fans that the best character of the Skywalker Saga was Ben Solo. And though Adam Driver has in the past been fairly adamant that he’s done with Star Wars, word is that Lucasfilm wants more of Ben Solo.
According to this source they are working on developing a new project for Ben or Kylo Ren. It’s not clear if this would be before, after, or during his fall to the Dark Side. Given that Kylo is pretty clearly dead at the end of Rise of Skywalker, it’d be pretty hard to resurrect him. However it feels like the whole watch the good guy turn into the bad guy thing has already been done in the Star Wars prequels. It’s hard to imagine that.
Actually it’s hard to imagine any project with Ben Solo that would make any sense, given current Star Wars canon. Nevertheless, Lucasfilm reportedly has something in development with him. Whether Adam Driver would be involved is in doubt, though since he made that character you have to imagine Disney will go pretty hard at trying to money whip him into returning as this project moves forward.
RETCONNING THE SKYWALKER SAGA FOR THE NEXT STAR WARS MOVIE
Recent rumors have suggested that Disney is considering erasing the Skywalker Saga from cannon. According to frequent Star Wars scooper Overlord DVD they laid the groundwork in the animated Star Wars series Rebels. They say, “In the Season 4 episode 13 installment titled ‘A World Between Worlds,’ the concept of the Veil of The Force was introduced, a mystical dimension of The Force that connects all time and space.”
That’s right everyone, if true Disney would use time travel to retcon The Skywalker Saga so they can move forward with a clean slate for the next Star Wars movie. They would then create a sort of Star Wars multiverse, with the original movies existing in the prime universe and the mess started with The Force Awakens existing in some parallel world with no impact on the real timeline.
Overlord DVD goes on to explain: “Emperor Palpatine had a room on the second Death Star called The Room of Mirrors. The mirrors were created by The Emperor prior to the Death Star through the Dark Side using ancient Sith rituals. These mirrors linked to the Veil of The Force served many purposes. Using them, Palpatine could manipulate The Force in many ways to further his aims. For example, the use of the mirrors allowed Palpatine to cloud the Jedi Council to conceal himself and his dark apprentices from the Jedi and from Force-sensitives that followed their fall. Using the mirrors allowed Palpatine to access the awesome powers of the Veil of The Force. They were indispensable tools that allowed him to rise to the pinnacle of ultimate power. It is this conceit that explains how Palpatine survived Darth Vader throwing him down the shaft in the throne room of the Death Star. In desperation as he fell, Palpatine opened a portal to the Veil of The Force and entered it. This explains why Palpatine is in such a damaged state in the Rise of Skywalker, as transporting himself into the Veil without the aid of the mirrors drained him and damaged him severely.”
It’s pretty complicated. Even though this source has gotten Star Wars stories right before, it sounds a lot like a fan generated fantasy. For now the idea of retconning The Skywalker Saga is just a rumor. We’ll see if it actually happens as the next Star Wars movie goes forward.
TAIKA WAITITI’S STAR WARS MOVIE
It doesn’t get any more official than this. StarWars.com has announced that Taika Waititi will be directing and co-writing the next Star Wars movie. Krysty Wilson-Cairns will co-write the movie’s script with Waititi.
Taika Waititi was the director of Thor: Ragnarok which was probably the most Star Wars-like of all the Avengers movies. More recently he directed the Oscar nominated movie Jo Jo Rabbit. He’s also already been involved in Star Wars, directing an episode of The Mandalorian as well as voicing the droid IG-11. So it makes sense that Disney is in talks with him to have him develop the next Star Wars movie.
When previously asked about directing a Star Wars movie, Taika had this to say: : “I think people see me hanging out with people, especially with Star Wars, and think I’m having some big discussions about it. I would fucking love to… If it was right. I would want to do any kind of movie if it made sense, and if it felt not like career suicide.“
It sounds Taika Waititi loves Star Wars but hasn’t loved the recent track record of movies and what has happened to the people who’ve made them. At least he’s being honest. That could mean he’s the right man to right this ship.
CASTING TAIKA WAITITI’S NEXT STAR WARS MOVIE
Rumor has it that director Taika Waititi is looking to some of his past collaborators in the Marvel universe to jump over to the next Star Wars movie with him. In particular Chris Hemsworth, who worked with Taika on Thor: Ragnarok and the upcoming Thor: Love And Thunder, is being courted to join the movie.
Hemsworth would not play a character you already know, but rather a totally new character created by Taika for the next Star Wars movie.
Other Marvel universe actors who have been rumored for Taika’s movie include Brie Larson and Tom Holland.
THE LAST JEDI RETURNS
One of the earliest pieces of news to come out of the Star Wars camp and its future was that Rian Johnson, he of the extremely divisive The Last Jedi, was given reigns for a trilogy of his own. And while this rumor was gaining ground, the director himself came out to temporarily halt its spread as he told Variety, “Every single day there’s a new thing. Until it’s up on StarWars.com, don’t believe it.” To date, nothing has been posted on Starwars.com.
It seems Johnson may have just been trying to throw people off the scene though. On June 19, 2020 LRM Online broke the story that even though nothing official has been announced, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars movies are still happening. They’ve just been pushed back. Now the movies are slated to be released after Taika Waititi’s upcoming Star Wars movie. Those movies aren’t set to start unspooling until 2022 at the earliest (though many say it is now 2024), which means Johnson’s movies are a lonnng way off and that’s why we aren’t hearing anything about them.
Even though Johnson’s Star Wars movies are pretty far off in the future, word is that he’s currently working on them and now simply plans to take his sweet time with them to get them right. It could mean that we’ll get something better than The Last Jedi as a result, or it could mean we’ll just get something that’s even more Last Jedi than The Last Jedi.
We have heard some rumors about what Rian Johnson has in mind for his Star Wars trilogy, if Lucasfilm ever gives him the greenlight. According to this source his next Star Wars movies would revolve around a force-sensitive kid like the one we saw at the end of The Last Jedi. It would take place in a future where there are now many Jedi in the galaxy and Rey Skywalker is serving as mentor to them all. Unfortunately, Rey’s daughter is now the master of the Sith and leading the villains of that era.
It sounds incredibly repetitive and boring, if you ask me. Here’s hoping Disney delays this forever and doesn’t let it be the next Star Wars movie.
J.D. DILLARD’S STAR WARS MOVIE
The Hollywood Reporter claims that J.D. Dillard was chosen by Lucasfilm to direct the next Star Wars movie. However in Lucasfilm’s official announcement about the next Star Wars projects, there is no mention of Dillard. Instead they say Taika Waititi is the only Star Wars director for the next movie.
Dillard wrote and directed an indie sci-fi movie called Sleight and really hasn’t done much else of note.
Interestingly Dillard has a history with Star Wars. He reportedly worked at the receptionist desk at Bad Robot, the offices of Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. He also had a cameo in the Rise of Skywalker, playing a First Order Stormtrooper. He even pitched some Star Wars ideas to Abrams at one point, and though they weren’t used, Abrams got him more involved with the production he was impressed enough with his attempt.
Along with Dillard, the trades claim has hired Matt Owens to write the next Star Wars movie’s script with Dillard. Owens has a history with Disney, having worked as a writer on Marvel’s Luke Cage series and on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series.
Whether this JD Dillard project is still happening, in light of the Taika Waititi announcement, remains to be seen.
IS THE SKYWALKER SAGA REALLY FINISHED?
Nine movies and 42 years been dedicated to the Skywalker Saga. With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker the Skywalkers time in Star Wars should be over. But it might not be totally done yet. Word is that Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams is currently in negotiations with Disney to release a Director’s Cut version of his movie.
Ironically, the news of a possible Rise of Skywalker Directors Cut release coincides with the trending #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag. That hashtag is being pushed by people who want a Director’s cut version of the Zack Snyder directed movie Justice League. Warner Brothers, the company that owns Justice League, has largely ignored this fan campaign. Meanwhile there is no #ReleaseTheAbramsCut hashtag trending, yet Disney may actually be considering making the Abrams cut a reality.
If released the Director’s Cut likely won’t be in theaters. It’ll be a Blu-ray release. Fans out there tirelessly pushing the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag can at least hope that if this gets done, it’ll add more pressure for Warner Bros to do the same. But considering that Rise of Skywalker made over a billion dollars at the box office and Justice League made only around $650 million… probably not.
Skywalker Box Office
The final Skywalker Saga movie initially pulled in big numbers on its way out the door. On Christmas Day Rise of Skywalker was number one at the box office, bringing in $32 million on December 25th alone. The second place finisher, Jumanji: The Next Level wasn’t even close, managing only $12 million on the holiday.
It’s worth noting that holiday total is well behind Force Awakens‘ $49.3 million earned on Christmas Day 2015. Force Awakens holds the record for best Christmas box office of all time, and now Rise of Skywalker is the runner-up for that title.
As the weeks wore on the box office numbers for Rise of Skywalker started to drop faster and faster. In February 2020 the movie finally left movie theaters and ended up with a total box office take of around $1,070,066,761. It crossed the billion mark, which is great, but also makes it the lowest grossing Star Wars movie in the new trilogy.
It didn’t even manage to outpace the niche R-rated movie Joker, released earlier in the same year. Joker earned slightly more and landed at number 32 on the all time box office list. Rise of Skywalker will sit at number 33 all time.
Other 2019 released movies which outgrossed Rise of Skywalker in worldwide box office include Avengers: Endgame ($2,797,800,564), The Lion King ($1,656,943,394), Frozen 2 ($1,443,733,931), Spider-Man: Far From Home ($1,131,927,996), Captain Marvel ($1,128,274,794), and Toy Story 4 ($1,073,394,593).
It’s also perhaps worth noting that Rise of Skywalker didn’t do well with critics. In fact, it’s the worst reviewed Star Wars movie of all time. As of this moment Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker holds a 52% rating on the review aggregating site Rotten Tomatoes. That’s now lower than even Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace which holds a 53% rating.
So while Rise of Skywalker made enough money to make Disney want to create more Star Wars movies in general, it didn’t make huge numbers and its reception was mixed. That mixed reception probably means that when Disney does make the next Star Wars movie they’ll probably want to go in a completely different direction.
Director J.J. Abrams kicked off the most recent trilogy with The Force Awakens and finished it with The Rise of Skywalker. He won’t be involved in Star Wars going forward.
While many people loved Abrams’ films, a lot of people hated them. When asked what his goal was he answered, “…do the best you can with everything you have.”
Abrams addressed the backlash against his take on Star Wars this way: “The truth is that these are things that are meant to entertain people, to make them feel something and hopefully make them feel good. Obviously, it doesn’t always work. It’s hard when it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, you have to understand it, you have to acknowledge it, you have to examine it.”
How does Abrams feel about the people who hated what he did? He says, “I’d say that they’re right… The people who love it more than anything are also right. I was asked… ‘How did you go about pleasing everyone?’ I was like, what? Not to say that should be what anyone tries to do anyway, but how would one even go about it? Especially with Star Wars. I don’t need to tell anyone here, we live in a moment where everything immediately seems to default to outrage. And there’s a kind of M.O. of it’s either exactly as I see it or you’re my enemy… It’s a crazy moment, so we knew starting this any decision we made, a design decision, a musical decision, a narrative decision would please someone and infuriate someone else. And they’re all right.”
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
With movies, live-action TV series, animated movies, animated TV series jumping across Galactic years and spanning decades of content, the Star Wars universe has gotten really big. It might be hard to keep track of where the next Star Wars movie will fit in. So, Lucasfilm has started handing out this useful timeline, to make sense of it all…
WHO’S FLYING THIS SHIP?
Currently Kathleen Kennedy is in charge of LucasFilm, the Disney division running Star Wars. Recently there has been some speculation as to Kennedy’s future with LucasFilm and whether she’ll be around for the next Star Wars movie. Kennedy herself has said she has no plan to leave the company any time soon, however she may have no choice.
Recent reports suggest that Kennedy is being forced into “early retirement” by Disney. She’s actually under contract until 2021, but Disney could always pay out her contract and simply give her work to someone else. More recently there have been rumors that her firing is imminent.
The same reports which say Kennedy is about to take an early retirement suggest it was the trouble with the Obi-Wan Disney Plus series that was the final straw. Production on the show was put on “indefinite hiatus” after Kennedy in mid-pre-production suddenly rejected all the scripts they’d written and sent them back to the drawing board. As a result, scoopers claim Disney believes it’s time for a change in leadership with Star Wars.
Kennedy’s ouster isn’t confirmed yet though, so we’ll update this space when it is… or is not.
If Kathleen Kennedy is out, they may replace her by borrowing talent from the Marvel side of their company. According to various sources, Marvel head Kevin Feige is considering leaving Marvel to move over and work at LucasFilm full time.
Even if Feige doesn’t move over to LucasFilm full time, it’s already been announced that he’ll at least work on one Star Wars movie.
Rumors of his taking over LucasFilm aside, we know for certain that Kevin Feige is at least making one Star Wars movie. Disney announced that the super producer and president of Marvel Studios, is developing his own Star Wars film. Also noted is that Feige told “a major actor” there is a specific part in this new film for them to play.
Alan Horn, Walt Disney Studios chairman and chief creative officer confirmed Feige’s involvement in Star Wars. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of Star Wars but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox. With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together.”
In addition to the Star Wars movie he’s supposed to be making, Kevin Feige’s Marvel may be involved in Star Wars on Disney+ as well. In 2015, Marvel Comics introduced a character called Doctor Aphra to the Star Wars universe. For those who don’t follow the Star Wars comics, the good Doc is a criminal archaeologist with questionable morals who just so happens to work for Darth Vader. Rumor has it not only will she make an appearance on Disney+ but that the series is already being filmed.
Feige being announced as involved with Star Wars doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. The franchise has a history of stops and starts. Ron Howard famously took over for directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller on Solo. Then Colin Trevorrow was dropped as the director of Rise of Skywalker to be replaced by JJ Abrams. So while it seems Feige has locked in to helm a Star Wars movie right now, always in motion is the future.
Star Wars Game Of Thrones
What does The Game Of Thrones have to do with Star Wars? GOT creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had been linked to a Star Wars trilogy of their own. HAD been. Kennedy even suggested that the pair would be collaborating with Johnson and the trio would plot out a ten-year course for Star Wars. That has since changed.
The Game of Thrones duo’s trilogy has been canceled for what was labeled a busy schedule for the pair as they have a new deal with Netflix. More details have been unearthed and these fall along the creative differences line. Apparently Benioff and Weiss wanted to explore the Jedi and their origins, while that was a direction Lucasfilm didn’t wish to go.
THE STAR WARS GALAXY AFTER RISE OF SKYWALKER
The Jon Favreau led hit The Mandalorian has brought wayward fans back into the Star Wars fold. Its crisp writing, sharp directing and Baby Yoda have fans talking about and anticipating each episode in a way they haven’t always talked about the new movies.
Along with announcing a second season to The Mandalorian, Disney+ has also announced a new series based on a character from Rogue One, Cassian Andor. Diego Luna is set to reprise his role as the title character with Alan Tudyk (Dodgeball, Rogue One) returning as the voice of K-2SO.
Also headed to your television is the Ewan McGregor-led Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
This is all small. Let’s talk bigger picture.
COMBATTING STAR WARS OVERLOAD
Figuring out where the Star Wars movies go next won’t be easy. The recent rocky path to Rise of Skywalker may have already set things in motion or to be more specific, slowed the course of action down. So, Disney has told the world that Star Wars will slow down. Call it Star Wars overload.
Disney boss Bob Iger recently re-confirmed the company’s intention of shutting down Star Wars movies for awhile. During the head honcho’s quarterly earnings call with investors he was asked about the next Star Wars movie Iger had this to say: “The priority in the next few years is television.” He then went on to reiterate that Star Wars movies are on hiatus.
That doesn’t mean they aren’t working on some ideas and planning for a time a few years from now when they will make another Star Wars movie, but fans should know that it’s probably a long way off before any of the ideas we’ll tell you about here come to fruition. Iger’s prediction of a “few years” means even 2022 may be too soon to expect anything new from Star Wars in theaters.
Since Disney released Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, there has been one release per year. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016, Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2017, Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018, and Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker this year. That’s a lot of Star Wars. So, don’t blame Disney for telling fans that the next Star Wars movie won’t see the big screen for a few years.
Kathleen Kennedy, president of LucasFilm and leader of the Star Wars franchise, has offered a few tidbits on life after the Skywalkers. “What we’ve been focused on the last five or six years is finishing the family saga around the Skywalkers,” she told the LA Times. “Now is the time to start thinking about how to segue into something new and different.”
But what exactly is “different”? For starters, Disney may kick aside the “trilogy” aspect of future Star Wars movies. “I think it gives us a more open-ended view of storytelling and doesn’t lock us into this three-act structure,” Kennedy said. “We’re not going to have some finite number and fit it into a box. We’re really going to let the story dictate that.”
PLANNING THE NEXT STAR WARS MOVIE
There will be a Star Wars future after Rise of Skywalker. The identity of the next Star Wars movie, though, has yet to be confirmed. Right now it seems as though even Disney doesn’t have a clear plan.
Kathleen Kennedy explains: “We’re literally making this up from whole cloth and bringing in filmmakers to find what these stories might be. It can take a while before you find what direction you might want to go. We need the time to do that.”
They’ll have all the time they need. Kennedy started making key decisions on the direction of the Star Wars franchise shortly after Rise of Skywalker’s release.
THE RISE OF ROSE TICO?
Not since Jar Jar Binks has any character been as hated by the Star Wars fanbase as Rose Tico. Unlike Jar Jar, though, Rose also has a small number of vocal supporters. One of those rare Rose Tico-loving souls used to write for StarWars.com, until he claims he got fired for supporting Rose.
In a series of Tweets writer Alex Kane had this to say about his firing from the official Star Wars website…
He then went on to blame it all on his support of Rose Tico saying, “To be clear, this was a small, symbolic gesture that affects little. And yet I’ve known it was coming since the moment I tweeted #RoseTicoDeservedBetter. But if they wait a few months, they can just deny this. I’ll be fine.”
Whether what Kane claims is true is hard to say. It’s usually a good idea to take what people who have recently been fired say about their bosses with a grain of salt. It does make sense that StarWars.com wouldn’t want someone writing positively about a character most of their fans hated on their website though. It also suggests that Disney and Lucasfilm are well aware a lot of people hate that character, which probably means she’ll never show up in another Star Wars movie. So count Rose Tico out of whatever it is that Star Wars does next in the future.
LIAM NEESON RETURNING?
There have long been rumors that Liam Neeson might be brought back to Star Wars as Qui-Gon Jin at some point. But that’s not happening. Liam Neeson is done with Star Wars.
Talking to ET Neeson had this to say about the franchise: “I admire the actors and I know some of the actors who do it, and do it fantastically. It’s just not my genre, it really isn’t. The first Star Wars I was in, that was 22 years ago, and I enjoyed that, because it was novel and that was new. I was acting to tennis balls, which were ultimately going to be fuzzy, furry creatures and stuff. That was interesting, acting-wise, to try and make that seem real, but that was the last. It’s quite exhausting.”
There have been rumors that Star Wars might want to use Princess Leia, or at least her likeness, in upcoming projects. Carrie Fisher tragically died during the filming of Rise of Skywalker and director JJ Abrams finished the movie using existing footage of her and CGI. But it seems Carrie Fisher’s family wasn’t happy about it, and they don’t want Lucasfilm using her likeness anymore.
Word is that Lucasfilm is reluctant to include Princess Leia in the next Star Wars project without the blessing of Carrie Fisher’s family, and they aren’t getting it. Technically Lucasfilm owns the rights to her likeness and her character so they can do whatever they want, but it would be a bad look to do so if Fisher’s family is against it. It may not be worth the bad PR for them to go against her family in order to CGI her back to life.
DARTH VADER RETURNS?
One of the things Disney may be considering for the next Star Wars movie is bringing back Darth Vader. Vader’s brief appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars story was extremely well received and rumor has it that it has them thinking about including him more.
It’s unlikely that we’d get any upcoming Star Wars movie focused on Vader, more likely just scenes similar to the one we got in Rogue One. Be ready for more Vader cameos, or Vader pop-ins as the next Star Wars movies unspool on screens.
THE ADVENTURES OF HAN AND CHEWIE
Harrison Ford long ago pronounced himself done with Star Wars and had basically avoided it entirely until he showed up for a cameo in The Rise of Skywalker. There he stepped in for the tragically deceased Carrie Fisher and it turned out to be one of the most effective and poignant moments of the entire film.
So of course Lucasfilm wants him back for more. Rumor has it that they’re trying to get Harrison Ford to come back and play Han Solo one more time in a Han & Chewie spinoff project. The idea would be to tell the story of what Han and Chewie were doing leading up to the events of The Force Awakens.
You have to wonder if this idea might have been fueled by the success of Star Trek: Picard. If one sci-fi series about an old man knocking around the universe can work, why not another?
Still it seems pretty unlikely Harrison Ford would be willing to do this. Even if he wanted to do it, his age means they’d have to get it done pretty soon. Harrison Ford is 77-years-old and not getting any younger.
HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN RETURNING TO STAR WARS
Hayden Christensen hasn’t been involved with Star Wars in a long time. He didn’t even get to appear as a Force ghost in Rise of Skywalker. But word is that he’s coming back to Star Wars, and soon.
According to this source Disney is planning cameo appearances for his Anakin in numerous upcoming Star Wars projects. Hayden is expected to film something for the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus series and there’s even talk that he could show up on The Mandalorian.
For a cameo on Obi-Wan he’d likely be under his Darth Vader armor, as during the time period the show is set in, Vader is active and out hunting down the last of the Jedi. For The Mandalorian he’d have to be a Force ghost, or an old recording, since Anakin is dead by the time of The Mandalorian.
FORCE AWAKENS CAST IN THE NEXT STAR WARS MOVIE?
Should the Force Awakens crew get brought back, another component of developing their story further may be to turn Finn and Poe’s relationship into a gay love affair. There have been rumors from the beginning that JJ Abrams wanted to make the duo into a romantic couple and that Disney wouldn’t let him. But some fans think a new video released by Lucasfilm may indicate they’re ready to take it to the next level. Here it is…
Disney remains adamant that the two are just friends, but a lot of people claim to seem something more in this new video. I’m not sure if it’s really there, or not.
While it would seem sensible that Lucasfilm move on from the characters of the last Star Wars trilogy, really anything is up for grabs as they try to figure out where they’re going next. This rumor indicates that part of their plans for the next Star Wars movie may include killing off Rey and Finn.
Even if it doesn’t happen in the next Star Wars, word is that the overall plan for their story arcs should they appear, is to have them die a heroic death like their mentors. It’s a move which is sure to make haters of the new trilogy happy, and frustrate fans who are tired of seeing all their favorite characters killed off.
At one point Lucasfilm had big plans for Han Solo. They’d anticipated Solo: A Star Wars Story being a big hit, and had hoped to make a lot of movies about Han, Chewie, and Lando traipsing around the Galaxy. But Solo underperformed both at the box office and with critics. So now that potential franchise is dead.
News of its demise comes from the film’s screenwriter Jon Kasdan who held a virtual funeral for Solo 2 with this tweet…
Box office probably wasn’t the only reason for Solo: A Star Wars Story 2 being crossed off Disney’s “to do” list. There’s also the issue of Donald Glover…
Word is that Glover isn’t sure he wants to play the character anymore. So if Disney had wanted to move forward on another movie they’d have had to replace him. And I don’t think anyone wanted him replaced, most would have agreed he was one of the best things about the first Solo movie.
As for Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich played young Han in Solo: A Star Wars story, but word is the studio don’t like what Ehrenreich did with the character. If they bring Han back in some other Star Wars project, it won’t be Alden playing him.
It’s an odd reaction. Most fans were pleasantly surprised with Ehrenreich’s portrayal. The issues people had with the film mostly revolved around the script, which was kind of a mess, and the production, which was plagued with problems from the beginning. Blaming Ehrenreich for Solo: A Star Wars Story’s failure seems misplaced.
MARA JADE BECOMING CANON
We know that Marvel head Kevin Feige has been handed the reigns to at least one of the next Star Wars projects. Exactly what that project will be remains to be seen, but word is that he’s very high on the idea of bringing in Captain Marvel star Brie Larson to topline it. The specific idea being rumored right now is that he wants Brie Larson to play Mara Jade.
Mara Jade is one of, if not the most, beloved character from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The Expanded Universe is comprised by an endless number of books and comic books and ancillary materials at the center of which you’ll find Mara Jade in a lot of them.
In the EU Mara is one of the Emperor’s Hands and after his death at the Battle of Endor, she embarks on a path of redemption. Eventually Mara turns to the light side of the Force, ends up marrying Luke Skywalker and becomes Jedi Mara Jade Skywalker.
But, the Star Wars Expanded Universe is not considered canon. That means Feige would be free to simply adapt some of her story and some of the best aspects of her personality for whatever purpose he chooses in the next Star Wars movie. It’s also easy to imagine why he might think a big name actress like Brie Larson could be the ideal fit to play her, though I suspect most fans will disagree.
Poe Dameron’s Solo Movie
Oscar Isaac was one of the standouts from the new Star Wars trilogy as ace pilot Poe Dameron. In fact one of the most frequent complaints fans had about the new movies was the lack of time spent developing Poe, since he seemed like a great character. Apparently Disney has listened, because now they are working on a Poe Dameron solo project.
Originally it was rumored that they were planning to give Poe Dameron his own Disney Plus series, but now word is that Disney is developing a full on Poe Dameron movie. The film would be a prequel exploring both the origins of Dameron and the origin of the Resistance as a whole. That would address another one of those fan complaints… that the politics of the Resistance vs. the First Order never did get really fleshed out in the new trilogy. Lucasfilm may use this film to do just that.
The Poe Dameron movie is still in very early development and anything can happen at this stage. But if they continue to move forward with it, expect to see Oscar Isaac back in the cockpit as Poe Dameron, within a few years.
Knights Of The Old Republic For The Next Star Wars Movie?
Various sources have Disney working on Star Wars projects based around the legendary Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video games. While basing a Star Wars movie around a video game might seem crazy to anyone who hasn’t played it, Knights of the Old Republic is not just regarded as the best Star Wars game ever produced, but also one of the best Star Wars stories ever told.
Knights of the Old Republic is filled with plenty of great material for a movie or a television show. So Disney may be planning both. FandomWire claims they are working on a Knights of the Old Republic movie and a Knights TV series. Presumably the two would connect to each other, as a way to get people in theaters and subscribing to Disney Plus.
Knights of the Old Republic was set thousands of years before Star Wars: A New Hope and follows a Jedi character on a journey to choose between the light and dark sides of the Force.
Star Wars: The High Republic
Planning for the next Star Wars movie is in very early stages, but we previously heard rumors that the next Star Wars movie will be set 400 years before the beginning of the Skywalker saga, hundreds of years before even the prequels. This is the time period of the Galactic Republic at its peak, before it became the Old Republic and was something more akin to the High Republic.
Now those rumors have been confirmed, but not in the way we expected. Lucasfilm is doing Star Wars: The High Republic but in a series of books. That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t still set a movie in this time period. Indeed many sources still insist that Lucasfilm is working on a High Republic movie.
One of those sources, WGTC, takes this a step further and says they know who Lucasfilm is considering to star in their High Republic movies: It’s Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker.
Whittaker is currently playing the titular Doctor on the show, but her run won’t last forever. Their sources claim Lucasfilm plans to adapt a High Republic book called Light of the Jedi into a movie and that the reason the concept art for the lead character (named Avar Kriss) in the book sort of seems to resemble Jodie Whittaker is because they actually want to cast Whittaker as the character.
Still, there’s nothing official from Disney or Lucasfilm indicating the High Republic will ever exist outside of print. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, it just means they aren’t talking about it right now. Here’s their official announcement…
“Later this year, Lucasfilm will launch an epic new era of Star Wars storytelling that will be explored through multiple voices in adult and young adult novels, children’s books, and comics from a variety of publishers including Disney Lucasfilm Press, Del Rey, IDW Publishing, and Marvel. Star Wars: The High Republic, which has previously been referred to as “Project Luminous”, will be set in an era when the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order are at their zenith, about 200 years before the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. This period on the Star Wars timeline will not overlap any of the filmed features or series currently planned for production, giving creators and partners a vast amount of room to tell Star Wars stories with new adventures and original characters.”— Official Lucasfilm Press Release
There’s even a trailer for the launch of this storyline in print. Here it is…
The only Star Wars character we’ve seen on screen who would be around during this time is Yoda, and back then he would have been a middle-aged (remember Yoda is 900 years old in Return of the Jedi) Jedi Knight. It was also during this period that a legendary dark Jedi named Darth Bane began reorganizing the Sith order and instituted the Sith rule of two… dark master and dark apprentice leading the way into the dark side of the Force.
DIVERSITY CHANGING STAR WARS
Apparently one of the big focuses for the Star Wars universe in the past is ensuring they represent diversity. When asked about how that was approached in the previous trilogy director J.J. Abrams had this to say…
“[We] thought about building this story with the female protagonist, a set of four main characters: One of whom was Latinx, one of whom was a Nigerian Londoner, one of whom was a woman — a white woman — and one of whom was a white guy. How can we find a way to have every kid who’s going to go see that movie see a version of themselves, in a way that isn’t often considered at scale? If we have this moment, this privilege, what do we want to do with it? And not from a place of being preachy or feeding people spinach, just from a place of — any time you have a privilege, you have an obligation, period. That’s just how we try to live our lives.”– -JJ Abrams on diversity in The Last Skywalker
Even though Abrams won’t be involved in Star Wars going forward, it’s likely that approach to diversity will continue in the franchise. That will be true at least, in part, because even if he’s not around Star Wars anymore a lot of the people he hired will be. He explains…
“It makes me emotional, actually, to be in meetings and to look around and see people who are never on a usual suspects list, they are never normally people you would think would normally have this job. But they were the best people, and they were there because we made sure they had a shot… I can’t tell you how much it’s benefited our business.”– -JJ Abrams on Star Wars diversity
Scott Derrickson’s R-Rated Star Wars Idea
Director Scott Derrickson is currently working on Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness for Disney/Marvel, but he has a killer idea for the next Star Wars movie.
Derrickson is quick to clarify that he never actually pitched this idea to Disney and it’s not something he’s actually doing . It’s just a fun concept he came up with at a dinner table.
Still, good ideas have to start somewhere. And since he’s already working for Disney anyway… hopefully they’re listening. We need this as the next Star Wars movie Disney!