While there's been nothing official, many rumors are swirling about the potential for a new Star Wars trilogy
It has been almost four years since Star Wars fans have been treated to a Star Wars movie. While some may say “treated” is an awful way to describe Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, along with the two previous movies in the derisive Skywalker Saga sequel trilogy, the fact of the matter is it’s been nearly four years and we are just finally getting a sense of where the future of Star Wars feature films is heading.
Since the ending of the Skywalker Saga, there have been numerous announcements of possible films, so let’s take a look back as well as take a peek into the future to see where Lucasfilm and Disney have been and where they plan to go in their galaxy far, far away.
The Last Star Wars Movie Left Fans Confused
One of the most troubling aspects of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, besides the utter lack of cohesive storytelling, was the fact that Daisy Ridley’s Rey pretty much gained all of her Force power and abilities through osmosis (yes, we know what the Force is).
Her ability to simply pick up a lightsaber and perform nearly flawless moves with said lightsaber in battle made her an easy target of most Star Wars fandom.
She was the light switch everyone wanted to flip off (in more ways than one) and while ultimately not a fault of her own (the writers and directors didn’t do her any favors), the character of Rey has become the bane of the sequel trilogy’s existence.
So, of course, she is coming back for another Star Wars movie. But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves.
A James Mangold Star Wars Movie Is Planned
The first announcement that came from Star Wars Celebration 2023 was handled by Kathleen Kennedy. The president of Lucasfilm announced that director James Mangold (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) will be in the director’s chair for the next Star Wars film.
The untitled film is said to be taking fans back to the “dawn of the Jedi” in a time that is set tens of thousands of years prior to the Skywalker Saga. What does this mean? Well, it means that we may see a character known as Prime Jedi. According to Kennedy, “James Mangold will take audiences deep into the past, telling the tale of the first Jedi to wield the Force and harness it as a liberating power in an era of chaos and oppression.”
When Mangold was pressed for more details, he told Empire that his film “takes place 25,000 years before Episode IV, and it’s about the discovery of the Force.” Then he added, “I told Kathy [Kennedy, head of Lucasfilm] I wanted to make a kind of Bible movie, a kind of Ten Commandments of Star Wars – kind of a Cecil B DeMille film about the arrival of the Force, and that’s what I’ve been pecking away at between press events. That’s the idea.”
Dave Filoni’s Star Wars Movie Is Also In The Works
Up next is Dave Filoni’s Star Wars film which is said to be bringing the current Disney+ Star Wars series together. As described by Kennedy, Filoni’s film “will focus on the New Republic and close out the interconnected stories told in The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and other Disney+ series.”
Also mentioned concerning Filoni’s upcoming Star Wars movie is, “Dave Filoni will orchestrate the escalating war between the Imperial Remnant and the fledgling New Republic.”
Daisy Ridley Will Be Back In One Of The Next Star Wars Movies
Finally, Daisy Ridley as Rey is back in action. This announcement was not well received over social media but make no mistake about it, Rey is back. This third film is going to tackle the future of the Jedi. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is going to handle the directing duties of this new film that is said to follow Rey 15 years after taking down the Sith. Now, Rey is attempting to rebuild the Jedi Order.
Here is how Kennedy described to Empire Rey’s new adventure: “The First Order has fallen, the Jedi are in chaos – there’s even a question of how many exist anymore – and Rey’s building the New Jedi Order, based on the text that she was given and that Luke imparted on her.”
She also said, “Rey has made a promise to Luke, and that’s really the core of where we’re going and what this story will be. And I think it offers just tremendous opportunity to introduce new characters and start with something fresh, because we culminated with what George [Lucas] was creating, and now we take all of that and move it to the next chapter.”
Turning back to Mangold’s Star Wars film, Kennedy noted just how important the film would be as fans are welcoming in the new Star Wars film featuring Rey.
“I think it’s a really nice compliment to what we’re doing with moving into the future with Rey, and then understanding a bit more of where this all came from,” she explained to Total Film. “Because it will be at the heart of creating the new Jedi Order, so to get a real sense of where that might have began with the dawn of the Jedi could be pretty cool.”
As you can probably imagine, none of these movies have titles, nor do they have start dates or have been given premiere dates. Just by the descriptions of each film, we are probably looking at a good three or more years down the road before we get the next Star Wars movie.
There Is Also A Taika Waititi Star Wars Movie
A while back, Taika Waititi was one of the big names to surface as the writer/director of an upcoming Star Wars film. We have not heard much about the film and there was no mention of Waititi from Kennedy during the Star Wars 2023 Celebration.
So, has he been officially scratched off the list? According to Waititi, he still plans to make his Star Wars film as he continues to work on the script. He recently mentioned that he has “a really good idea for it,” but that he is stuck in the middle.
“I’ve got a really good idea for it,” Waititi said. “It’s just as with all films, it’s this middle part. You’re like, ‘What’s going to happen?’ And then you look at all of those films that are so great, you’re like, ‘Well, I guess they can’t meet some smuggler with an alien sidekick.’ “
Earlier, Waititi did explain his views on joining the Star Wars Universe and how he is approaching his story. “Look, I think for the Star Wars universe to expand, it has to expand,” he said. “I don’t think that I’m any use in the Star Wars universe making a film where everyone’s like, ‘Oh great, well that’s the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon, ah that’s Chewbacca’s grandmother.’
“That all stands alone, that’s great, though I would like to take something new and create some new characters and just expand the world, otherwise it feels like it’s a very small story.”
When finally asked about it, Kennedy did mention that Waititi remains the sole writer on his project and that at some point in the future, his film will get made. Of course, like everything else Star Wars feature film related, there is no timeframe set on it.
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 Thor: Love And Thunder, is being courted to join the movie.
Hemsworth would not play a character already established in the Star Wars Universe, but rather a totally new character created by Taika. Other Marvel universe actors who have been rumored for Taika’s movie include Brie Larson and Tom Holland. Any of them would be major stars for the next Star Wars movie.
Patty Jenkins Had Her Star Wars Movie Canceled
One person who we know won’t be helming a Star Wars film anytime soon, or maybe never at all, is director Patty Jenkins. If you recall, she was slated to take on Star Wars Rogue Squadron and was announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger as the one helming the feature film. Jenkins even produced a short teaser telling fans that she would be taking on the movie.
Since that time, though, the production of the potential next Star Wars movie has run into trouble. So much so that the film has been pulled from Disney’s film release schedule. Seems the issue was not COVID-related, or story related, but instead related to the director herself.
The issue first arose while Jenkins was putting together Wonder Woman 3. Apparently, Jenkins has become a nightmare to work with and it soured Warner Brothers to the point where they pulled the third Wonder Woman from their slate. The same issue came into play as Star Wars Rogue Squadron was beginning to go into pre-production.
According to The Hot Mic, a podcast led by John Rocha and Jeff Sneider, the production was “a mess” and Jenkins was to blame.
“I’ve heard some things about Patty Jenkins,” states Rocha. “I’ve heard she’s a nightmare. I’m sorry, I hate to be the guy who’s calling a woman a name, I get it, oh my God! But listen, I’ve said that about countless male directors, too. I’ve heard that everything that she turned in with Wonder Woman 3 was like, you know, a mess. I heard [that Star Wars: Rogue Squadron] was a mess.”
Sneider was hesitant to go into further details but did say that behind the scenes, Jenkins was a terror, and the story that she was putting together eventually didn’t align itself with what Disney and Lucasfilm wanted to see. There is no word on if Rogue Squadron will move forward, with or without Jenkins.
Wasn’t Shawn Levy in Line For a Star Wars Movie?
Shawn Levy is another big-name director who at one point was attached to direct a Star Wars film, although his current work with Deadpool 3 and other projects might eventually remove him from the running.
Levy was very excited when his name was included with Star Wars, saying at the time, “I’m very aware of the ratio of filmmakers who get to the starting line,” he told Collider.
“But here’s my attitude: I have this golden ticket into a galaxy far away, and I’m going to devote myself to developing a screenplay that gives me the privilege of making this movie.” Unfortunately for Levy and fans of his films, it is unclear if he still remains attached to Star Wars.
Rian Johnson Could Be Back As Well
Of course, there is the one name that most Star Wars fans hope doesn’t get a chance to get behind the camera (or pick up the writing pen) for another Star Wars film – Rian Johnson.
As the creator of the extremely divisive The Last Jedi, it was announced that Johnson, right before The Last Jedi hit cinemas, would be tackling his own Star Wars trilogy that would feature “new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.”
Since that time, Knives Out happened for Johnson. Then came Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery. Up next will be the third mystery in the Knives Out franchise. This, apparently, has moved Johnson’s planned Star Wars trilogy to the back burner, though not entirely snuffed out.
According to Lucasfilm’s embattled president, Kathleen Kennedy, “Rian has been unbelievably busy with Knives Out and the deal that he made at Netflix for multiple movies.”
Johnson even echoed Kennedy’s sentiments, “I have talked to Kathy about it and we’re still talking about it,” Johnson said. “I had such an amazing experience making The Last Jedi… It’s entirely a matter of scheduling. For me, putting this [Glass Onion] out and making the next one of these… the answer is I don’t know.”
A Kevin Feige Star Wars Movie?
So, how did Marvel head Kevin Feige get involved with a possible Star Wars film? Apparently, Feige was tapped to come in and help shape the future of Star Wars including working on a film of his own.
Then Disney Chief Creative Officer, Alan Horn, had this to say about Feige’s involvement. “We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on… 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.”
It was said that Feige had already approached a “major actor” to become part of this new Star Wars project and that Feige had already enlisted scribe (and Loki head writer) Michael Waldron to pen the project.
Throwing some cold water on the project was a report from Variety that had Kennedy pretty much denying a possible project. “I would love to see what movie he might come up with,” she said. “But right now, no, there isn’t anything specifically.”
More Star Wars Films Have Been Announced
The Hollywood Reporter claimed back in 2020 that J.D. Dillard had been chosen by Lucasfilm to direct the next Star Wars movie. However, in Lucasfilm’s official announcement about the next Star Wars projects, there was no mention of Dillard. 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 office 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 Matt Owens was hired 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. Unfortunately for Dillard, once Shawn Levy’s project was announced, Disney backed away from Dillard’s as he said his project was “unfortunately no longer a thing,” although it wasn’t for his lack of trying.
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.
Of course, there was also the possibility that fans would see the return of a young Han Solo for the second time. For a while, the prospects of a Solo 2 film were pretty good. Disney and Lucasfilm anticipated Solo: A Star Wars Story to be 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 the idea of moving forward with more swashbuckling adventures pretty much died on the vine.
The news of the death of Han Solo, and not the poor way it was handled in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was announced by screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan, who said in a Tweet, “Don’t think anyone’s pursuing a Solo sequel at the moment @KenobiJj. I think a feature, at this point, would be a tough sell & the D+ Star Wars slate is really…pretty packed, all shows I’m lookin forward to. My work on Indy is long over but I’m excited there’s forward movement!”
EVEN WITHOUT A MOVIE, THERE IS STILL OF STAR WARS CONTENT
While we still have no true idea as to when fans will see the next Star Wars film, it doesn’t mean fans are lacking Star Wars content. Just take a look at Disney+, which is exactly what Disney wants you to do if you are all about Star Wars.
Since the final film of the Skywalker Saga premiered, Disney+ has introduced The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi (which featured the return of Ewan McGregor as Ben Kenobi, Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, and force ghost Liam Neeson as Qui-Gon Jinn), Andor, The Bad Batch, Visions, Tales of the Jedi, and Andor.
And that’s not to mention some of their upcoming shows like Ahsoka, Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, The Acolyte, Lando, and Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic. So, while the big screen will be devoid of new Star Wars films for the time being, fans can get their fill and more by tuning into Disney+.
Unfortunately, a final word concerning a new Star Wars movie is like shooting at a moving target. No one knows. Strike that. We now know the next three movies that Lucasfilm wants to produce, we just don’t have any dates. So, until that time, fans will have to continue to get their Star Wars fix from Disney+.
You will have the entire Skywalker Saga to debate and all of the Star Wars series to enjoy. You will also get other films in the franchise such as Solo, Rogue One, and Clone Wars. Your galaxy far, far away is never too far away and once we get more specific details on the next Star Wars film, we will be sure to pass it along.